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 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) today joined 12 national Hispanic organizations and corporate sector advocates to establish Partners in Hispanic Education to expand educational opportunities for Latino communities throughout the United States.

“HACU brings the energy and reach of the nation’s Hispanic higher education community to this powerful new partnership to create opportunities for educational excellence and success in our Hispanic communities,” HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores said at a news conference in Washington, D.C., to announce the national partnership.

“Many of our organizations have worked together before with outstanding results in service to the Hispanic community. We can also achieve great success in this new, wider-reaching partnership to empower communities to help more Hispanic youth achieve their college and career goals,” Flores said.

In addition to HACU, consortium members include the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans; the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC); the USHCC Foundation; MANA: A National Latina Organization; the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships; State Farm Insurance Companies; IQ Solutions; the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); the U.S. Army; the National Association of Hispanic Publications; and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). Flores is also chair of HACR.

Partners in Hispanic Education will host education initiatives in six pilot cities. A first series of town hall meetings, financial aid and scholarship seminars, and workshops for parents, students, educators and business and community leaders is scheduled October 18 in San Diego. Other pilot cities will be: Miami; Detroit; Tucson, Arizona; the neighboring cities of El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico, and The Bronx, New York.

HACU represents more than 300 colleges and universities serving more than two-thirds of Hispanic higher education students in the United States.

“We face an enormous challenge. By their sheer numbers, Hispanics will have a dramatic impact on our country’s future economic success, security and global leadership. Yet, Hispanics suffer the lowest high school and college graduation rates of any major population group,” Flores said.

“As a nation, we must target more resources to Hispanic education. We also must call upon the resources, energy and talent of the outstanding organizations that make up Partners in Hispanic Education,” Flores said. “HACU is excited to be a partner in this important new endeavor.”

For more information, contact HACU national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 692-3805. Ext. 3249. Or visit www.hacu.net.