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Press Release

San Jose State University and The National Hispanic University: Partners in Joint Degree Programs

Release Date: September 25, 1997

Presidents Robert Caret, San Jose State University (SJSU), and B. Roberto Cruz, the National Hispanic University (NHU) are holding a press conference on October 2, 1997 from 11:00 - 11:45 AM, at the Fairmont Hotel, Club Regent on the lobby level, downtown San Jose, to sign a major agreement between the institutions that will enable Hispanic and other students to complete joint degree programs in different careers at both institutions. Presidents Caret and Cruz will be joined by Santa Clara County Superintendent Dr. Colleen Wilcox, and surrounding school district superintendents Linda Murray, Joe Coto, Santiago Wood, Pat Souza, Larry Aceves, Bruce Hauger, Herbert Wadley, and Ida Jew, who will also join in the signing ceremony pledging cooperation and support for the agreement to help prepare the future work force.

This is a significant milestone for the Hispanic community during the 1997 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Currently, Hispanics make up 39.1% of California students enrolled in K-12 classrooms. Unfortunately, Hispanics have a higher drop out rate (40% - 70%) prior to high school completion than any other group. Of Hispanics who graduate from high school, a mere 3.9% meet the University of California admissions requirements and , only one out of ten or 10% of Hispanic high school graduates that pursue a four-year college degree actually complete a baccalaureate degree. This Educational Partnership Agreement allows the two universities to team up with school superintendents and the private sector to address these dismal and unacceptable statistics in order to prepare more Hispanics to earn their four year degrees.

"I consider it a privilege to work together with a visionary like Robert Caret to address the educational crisis in our community," stated Dr. Roberto Cruz, President of The National Hispanic University. "Dr. Caret and our consortium partners are going beyond the traditional 'Band-Aid' approaches which have been used in the past to address this crisis," concluded Cruz.

San Jose State University is one of the largest institutions in the California State University Systems with an enrollment of approximately 26,000 students. SJSU offers over 200 graduate and undergraduate programs and is the oldest institution in the system, as well as the oldest public institution on the West Coast, having been founded in 1857. The University has an operating budget of $265,000,000.

The National Hispanic University is an independent, nationally accredited, non-profit institution of higher education that was authorized to grant degrees in 1981 by the California Department of Education, Office of Private Post-secondary and Vocational Education. The University offers degree programs in business, liberal studies, education and computer science at the Associate and Bachelor's levels. The University also sponsors various extended education programs that address the educational needs of K-12 within the community.