At the end of October, 2017, a group of professors and administrators went to San Diego to participate in the 31st Annual Conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). This year’s meeting was held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The theme of the conference was “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Driving America’s Prosperity”. HACU’s Annual Conference provides a unique forum for the sharing of information and ideas for the best and most promising practices in the education of Hispanics.
During this conference I was able to attend workshops like “Creating dynamic practices for Hispanic Student success” where the main goal was to provide both culturally and academically relevant support to our Hispanics Students. Other presentations offered mentoring models designed to address the academic achievement gap.
As a Hispanic, minority professor, I was delighted to hear many professionals and students speaking Spanish (kind of made it feel like “home”). I was also very encouraged to hear about all the undergoing efforts intended to help the broader Hispanic/Latino community. I know we still have a long way to go, but looking at the effectiveness of these programs, and all the partnerships and collaborations with HACU members and public and private organizations, I am confident that we are in a great position to help many Hispanics students find success here at Vanguard.
VANGUARD AS A HOME FOR HISPANICS
The destination of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) should be an identity and practice informed by more than just the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled. The presentations helped us reflect on what it means to be an HSI of education, especially in Universities like ours where the Hispanic populations are growing so rapidly.
The conference had a profound impact on me.
Photo (left to right): Dr. Itzel Calleja-Macias, Dr. Antonio R. Flores, President of HACU, and Dr. Sylvia Kane