Educational Initiatives Launched To Help Benefit the Hispanic Community

September 30, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

immmigration-rally-1437946This is a special time of year for the Hispanic community as the nation observes National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Several federal agencies, led by the White House, have launched initiatives to bolster this segment of society.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration issued the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics aimed at improving the lives of the 55 million U.S. Hispanics through increased access to high-quality early learning and STEM education, more grants to Hispanic-serving colleges, more opportunities to participate in the internships or greater apprenticeships with small businesses.

Nearly one in four students in our nation’s public schools is Hispanic. According to Arne Duncan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), “making sure these young people have the opportunity to achieve their dreams isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a matter of our shared success as a country. It’s clear; the future of our nation is closely connected to the future of our Hispanic communities.”

ED recently announced that 96 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) will receive more than $51 million in new federal awards to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students. The HSI program provides grants to make college more attainable for Hispanic students and allows institutions to enhance their academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability.

Other federal agency plans to assist the Hispanic community include:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) will publish guidance to encourage proposals from HSIs to existing NSF grant programs to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research projects, with an emphasis on programs that address broadening participation in the STEM workforce.
  • The Peace Corps will hire a staff member focused exclusively on increasing university programs and partnerships at highly diverse institutions.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has partnered with Small Business Majority to launch a pledge campaign designed to encourage small businesses and companies to hire, mentor or provide apprenticeship opportunities.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will announce $9.2 million in grants to support projects on agricultural science education at dozens of HSIs across the nation.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will develop a policy statement on supporting young dual language learners in early learning settings, particularly in Head Start, Early Head Start, child care and home visiting.

We support these federal efforts to provide better educational opportunities for the Hispanic population. Finding ways to enhance their future should not be ignored.

Let us know how you feel about these initiatives targeted to the Hispanic community. Is more needed? Let us know.




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