The National Hispanic University (NHU) was established in 1981 in Oakland, California, to serve the needs of Hispanics and other underserved groups. As our founding president and academic visionary for 22 years, Dr. B. Roberto Cruz believed that a small, private independent college could make a difference in the graduation rate of Hispanics and other minorities.
Based on Dr. Cruz's vision, NHU has fostered Familia™, a caring learning environment where students have felt valued and supported at every step in their academic journey. Embracing diversity and multiple perspectives as guiding principles, NHU established its mission:
To enable Hispanics, other minorities, women, and others to acquire an undergraduate degree or certificate using a multicultural educational experience to obtain a professional career in business, education, or technology.
Since our founding in 1981, NHU has profoundly changed the lives of our students and the communities we served. In 1990, we established a second campus in San Jose and began reaching out to the community with Oakland's Upward Bound program for economically disadvantaged high school youths. Our community outreach efforts grew the following year when we established the Educational Talent Search program in San Jose to reach middle and high school students from low-income backgrounds. Also in 1991, we introduced our Translation and Interpretation certificate program for English and Spanish speakers.
In 1992, our Oakland campus merged with the San Jose campus, and then in 1995, we moved to our current location in San Jose.
Having been established for close to 15 years, we received recognition from external organizations including accreditation by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), approval as a CLAD/BCLAD Teacher Credentialing Institution by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), and reapproval as a degree-granting institution by the California Department of Education.
In 1997, we partnered with San Jose State University (SJSU) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/Ames Research Center to encourage more Hispanic students to enroll and graduate and to offer education and collaborative research opportunities designed to bring more Hispanics into the aerospace and technology fields.
We were recognized for preparing more bilingual Latino teachers in Northern California than any other four-year institution in 1998. Three years later, we founded the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA), a bilingual charter school.
In 2002, we were accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The following year, Dr. David P. Lopez was named president of our university. He was named Hispanic-Net educator of the Year in 2005, and in 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to serve on the State Board of Education.
In 2009, we established the Early University Program (EUP), designed to introduce high school students to the college experience. After joining the Laureate International Universities network in 2010, we began to add online courses, concentrations, and degree programs in education and business.
In 2012, we celebrated our 30th anniversary.
In March 2014, after a deliberative review process, the NHU Board of Directors determined that because the university continued to face significant ongoing regulatory and financial challenges, NHU would cease offering programs after the 2014—2015 academic year. The board announced a range of actions to take to ensure that the university's vision endures and that its students successfully complete their studies.
True to Dr. Cruz's vision, the NHU campus will continue to provide a home for a teacher academy supporting K–12 educators in the San José area; the Latino College Preparatory Academy, a bilingual charter school for English language learners; and the teacher credentialing programs offered through Santa Clara University.
The National Hispanic University is a member of the Laureate International Universities network, a trusted global leader in providing access to high-quality, innovative institutions of higher education. The Laureate International Universities network includes more than 75 accredited campus-based and online universities. Our more than 900,000 students are part of an academic community that spans 29 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.