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Education News

Texas Colleges Receive Millions To Better Serve Hispanic Students

They include the University of Houston-Downtown, the University of Texas San Antonio, Texas State University and Amarillo College.


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University of Houston-Downtown
University of Houston-Downtown

At the University of Houston-Downtown, more than 40 percent of students are Hispanic. In the freshman class, the number is even higher at almost 70 percent.

It makes UH-D President Bill Flores think about what they're dealing with and how to help them graduate.

“It's very common for our students to take three or buses to get here and to work two or three jobs and to work over 40 hours even as freshmen so the kind of support mechanisms that you have to build are different,” Flores said. He added that many Hispanic students are also the first in their family to attend college.

To build more support, the University of Houston-Downtown is getting $3 million in federal money over the next five years.

It's part of a national initiative to make college more attainable for Hispanic students. Overall, 96 higher education institutions are receiving $51 million, including more than a dozen in Texas. All of them are considered “Hispanic-serving institutions,” meaning that at least 25 percent of their enrollment is Hispanic.

“Our intent here is to make it as easy as possible and to accelerate the pathways to success,” Flores said.

Flores said that UH-Downtown will use the money to expand a partnership with Lone Star College in Kingwood. It will focus on training future teachers and let students take classes at either campus.

Other Hispanic-serving institutions in the Texas that received grants include the University of Texas San Antonio, Texas State University and Amarillo College.

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