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UNT Insider | January 2008 Issue | Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

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Magazine names UNT as a school for Hispanics to enroll, graduate

From a UNT News Service press release

The University of North Texas has again been recognized by the magazine Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education as a publisher's pick. It's an annual list recognizing colleges and universities where, in the magazine's opinion, Hispanic students have shown they can thrive.

UNT has several programs to actively recruit and a commitment to retain and graduate Hispanic students.

Since 2004, 18 UNT students or recent graduates have received awards of up to $3,000 per academic year from the national Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Recent graduates are included because they applied for the scholarships when they were still UNT students. The fund, founded in 1975, is considered the premier national scholarship agency for sponsors of scholarships for Hispanic students.

As part of community outreach efforts across the state of Texas, UNT's Office of Admissions has taken part in more than 600 recruitment programs and six national Hispanic college fairs in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas. Randall Nunn, UNT associate director of admissions, says his office also has participated in "Las Llaves del Exito," or "The Keys to Success," for families. The program is sponsored by the Dallas Independent School District, Dallas County Community College District and area universities.

Nunn adds, "UNT holds an event every fall called Academic Kickoff where high school students come to UNT to see what we have to offer. Plus, we have conducted numerous workshops for both students and parents at local high schools with a large Hispanic enrollment to help with questions on how to apply for admission and financial aid."

The Center for Outreach and Community Involvement sponsors UNT's Academic Kickoff. Patrick Vasquez, director of the center, says, "The program targets 300 Hispanic students from area schools and hosts them for a full day program at UNT, including a football game."

Vasquez says the center is also an active partner in Denton's Partnership for Hispanic Success, an on-going initiative to provide college enrollment, health and civic engagement information to parents and families of Hispanic students in Denton ISD.

In addition, the center administers UNT's Multicultural Scholastic Award.

"The program began 12 years ago, and is available to full-time freshman, transfer, continuing and graduate UNT students who meet certain academic requirements and agree to actively participate in a variety of multicultural activities, " Vasquez says.

The deadline for the 2008-2009 academic year is March 15.

Vasquez adds, "UNT's Go Center initiative at six area high schools has as its focus the goal of creating a college-going culture. The centers are a place in a high school where students can talk to their college-going peers about that experience, and the majority of students we engage are Hispanic."

Last summer, UNT hosted several summer bridge programs for recent high school graduates to help them meet statewide college readiness standards and to equip them to compete successfully in higher education.

Increasing and retaining Hispanic enrollment is a major part of the "Closing the Gaps" initiative of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The initiative aims to enroll 630,000 new higher education students across Texas by 2015.

Jose Lopez-Isa, publisher of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine, points out in the last decade national Hispanic enrollment at four-year universities has increased 73 percent. However, the percentage of Hispanic high school graduates ages 18-24 enrolling in college increased from 35 to 37 percent.

UNT News Service Press Release
Rafael McDonnell may be reached at RMcDonnell@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

January 2008

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