Shenandoah University is proud to announce its membership in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The 36-year-old HACU organization “represents more than 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and U.S. school districts,” according to its website.
As an emerging Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) based in the northern Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia, both of which are home to a growing and diverse Hispanic/Latine/Latinx population, Shenandoah University is excited about the opportunities the HACU can provide to students, faculty and staff.
“With the growth of Shenandoah University’s Hispanic and Latinx community, we felt drawn to partnering with HACU, an organization dedicated to the success of Hispanic and Latinx students,” said Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “HACU’s connection to Shenandoah will also ultimately strengthen and enrich our entire university community.”
Students will have access to HACU internship and career readiness/development programs, and leadership training. Leadership opportunities are also plentiful for university faculty and staff at a variety of levels, from upper administration to those in other supervisory and academic leadership roles.
The HACU organization has provided the following for its members:
- Facilitated over 15,000 internship placements;
- Awarded over $4.7 million in academic scholarships since its scholarship program launched in 1991;
- Conducted a variety of student conferences and summits, including the HACU ¡Adelante! Leadership Institute, which is held in conjunction with HACU’s annual conference and hosts more than 700 students, who gain valuable networking opportunities with potential employers;
- Presented an Annual Conference on Hispanic Higher Education, which showcases best practices for serving Hispanic students and draws more than 2,000 participants;
- Prepared culturally diverse leaders for executive and senior-level higher education positions through the one-year La Academia de Liderazgo program;
- Offered the HACU Webinar Series, which highlights innovative and creative practices in serving Hispanic students at HACU membership institutions;
- Advocated for higher education at HACU’s Annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education.
This partnership with HACU is anticipated to further strengthen the Hispanic/Latine/Latinx community at Shenandoah, which is already marked by supportive and a family-like character, according to graduate Consuelo “Elly” Mazariegos ’20 (Bachelor of Arts in Biology).
In addition, Shenandoah has built a connection between its students and high school students through the Scholars Latino Initiative, which provides guidance to Latine/Latinx students interested in attending college.
The club Estudiantes Unidos is also part of campus life, as are yearly Hispanic Heritage Month events that have included visits from speakers, Latin Art Nights, dinners featuring discussions about issues important to those of Latinx and Hispanic heritage, museum visits and more. The university is part of Winchester-area Dia De Los Muertos holiday celebrations, which are growing larger with every passing year.
Shenandoah University is an institution dedicated to inclusion, diversity and equity. To see what those terms mean to the Shenandoah community, please visit su.edu/diversity.
To learn more about HACU, visit www.hacu.net.