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NCCU Broadens Outreach to Hispanic Community

As part of a continuing commitment to promote diversity in the student body, North Carolina Central University will host “Destino Universidad,” an educational fair for Hispanic middle and high school students and their parents, on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8:30 a.m., in the Alfonso Elder Student Union. The event is a partnership between NCCU, the College Board, the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals and Univision 40.

Highlights of the event include:
• College planning and parental guidance workshops in English and Spanish
• Access to educational institutions/organizations
• Guidance for undocumented students
• Experts who will provide assistance in selecting the right college

Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority population in the United States, yet they face persistent obstacles to educational attainment. Less than half of Latino children are enrolled in any early learning program and only about half of all Latino students earn their high school diploma on time. Those who do complete high school are only half as likely as their peers to be prepared for college. Overall, Latinos have the lowest education attainment level of any group in the U.S., representing just 15 percent or 1.8 million 18- to 24-year-old students in two and four year colleges and universities (2010).

Research from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics shows that
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) serve nearly 60 percent of the nation’s 4.7 million minority undergraduate students. At NCCU, Hispanics represent just 2 percent of the undergraduate student population, a statistic the university seeks to change.

“In the last two years NCCU has committed to increasing the number of Latino/Hispanic students at NCCU, as well as becoming more actively involved in the Latino/Hispanic Community of the Raleigh-Durham area,” said Derrick Arnold, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions and co-chair of the newly-formed Hispanic / Latino Outreach Committee.

To increase visibility in the community, NCCU has established partnerships with the North Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Univision and the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals.

The NCCU Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM) hosted a series of roundtable discussions with graduate and undergraduate students who identify as Hispanic, Latino or as having heritage from a Spanish-speaking nation. “Our goal was to gain input on ways that NCCU can enhance their engagement efforts in academic and extracurricular activities on campus for this population of students,” said Meghann Martinez, social media and marketing coordinator for SAEM.

Both Arnold and Martinez say more work needs to be done. “We need to make sure that admittance to NCCU also means acceptance,” said Arnold, “into a community that allows all students to rise to their full potential and earn a degree.”

For additional information, please contact Derrick Arnold at darnold@nccu.edu or 919-530-6298.

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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