San José, Calif.- November 28, 2011- A panel of higher education experts from The National Hispanic University (NHU) discussed how they are working to improve college preparedness among Hispanic youth during a presentation at the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents Summit on Hispanic Education in San Francisco on Oct. 14.
The panel presentation - “Extending La Familia: What Happens When a Private University Opens its Doors to Latino High School Students?” - included NHU President Dr. David Lopez; Michael Mooney, Director of the NHU Early University Program; and Carlos von Son, NHU Spanish and Ethnic Studies faculty member.
The panel focused on NHU’s Early University Program, a partnership with the Latino College Preparatory Academy, a bilingual charter school. Qualified high school students from the academy take transferable university courses at NHU, and the units earned then count toward both a high school diploma and college degree. The panelists also spoke about how culturally relevant role models, high expectations and strong support systems - an approach the university defines as the Familia™ model - can improve college preparedness and retention for Hispanic and other underrepresented students.
Dr. von Son shared how his work with Early University students in the Visual and Performing Arts class provides rigorous training in writing and communication skills in English and Spanish. For example, students develop and perform their own plays for the community through events such as La Pastorela Popular de San José.
Students from the NHU Early University Program typically earn 15-25 transferable university units, and 96% enter college after graduating from high school, according to program data. Graduates of the program have gone on to attend public and private institutions of higher education, including NHU and schools in the University of California and California State University systems.