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 June 18, 2014

NJ Revilla-García

HACU focuses on increasing student diversity in study abroad opportunities

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) President and CEO Antonio R. Flores recently visited with key government officials as part of HACU's commitment to expand student participation in study abroad programs.

President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas, a competitive grant program to increase international study between the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, was the highlight of discussions at meetings that took place on June 4-6. 

Among the individuals Flores and HACU government relations staff met with separately in Washington, D.C., were Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Special Advisor for the U.S. Department of State on President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative; Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan; and staff from the Office of Congressman Edward R. Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In New Jersey, HACU representatives met with Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee to discuss higher education and international education.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), a very low number and proportion of students graduate with an educational experience abroad and fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. The Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released last November by IIE, with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, indicates that 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs.

HACU has joined the IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Commitment to expand student diversity and minority participation in study abroad and help double the number of students who study abroad each year by the end of the decade. 

HACU recently launched a Call for Presentations titled "100,000 Strong in the Americas: Challenges and Opportunities for a More Prosperous and Fair Hemisphere," the theme of its 11th International Conference, taking place Feb. 25-27, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. A variety of conference workshops will be offered in English and Spanish to explore the topic further.  

Other collaborations with HACU include partnering with two major education associations in Mexico, ANUIES and FIMPES, to coordinate pilot student exchange programs in the near future.

Photo: (L-R): HACU Governing Board member and President of Hudson County Community College Glen Gabert; HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores; Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; and President of New Jersey City University Sue Henderson at a meeting discussing international education.