White House Honors UNCW for Hispanic Education Achievements

Friday, October 16, 2015

UNCW has been recognized with two distinctions from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The recognitions were announced on Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C. as part of the initiative’s 25th anniversary.

The White House designated Centro Hispano, part of the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI), as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education, which reflects UNCW’s efforts to support Latino educational attainment and excellence. Additionally, the White House included UNCW among 150 public and private institutions with a Commitment to Action to make meaningful and quantifiable contributions to expand and support the educational outcomes and opportunities for the Latino community.

Founded in 2005, Centro Hispano is UNCW’s Hispanic/Latino center that supports the academic and professional development of students, faculty and staff tied to the Hispanic/Latino culture, and serves as an academic and community resource center. Great emphasis is placed in supporting the recruitment and the retention of local students who are the first in their families to attend college. 

Centro Hispano is one of two programs in the state recognized as a “Bright Spot” for their collaboration and support of key education priorities for Hispanics, and the only North Carolina organization recognized with a Commitment to Action.

The center committed more than $150,000 to support the rapidly growing population of Hispanic students applying, attending and completing degrees at UNCW. As part of their commitment to support the increase of Hispanic enrollment to mirror our region’s demography of 10 percent within two years, they will expand their recruitment efforts, maximize the activities of the Centro Hispano team, and continue to nurture students through mentoring, leadership, academic and career support.

Edelmira Segovia, the center’s director, notes that there are approximately 1,000 Hispanics currently enrolled at the university and another estimated 1,000 Hispanics who have already graduated from UNCW. She points that the rate of growth has been tremendous, with the population doubling in size over the past five years.

“Our campus support has been strong and continues to grow in welcoming and nurturing the fast-growing Hispanic population,” she said. “These awards acknowledge what UNCW and Centro Hispano as a family have worked so hard to accomplish.”

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. By helping ensure that all Hispanics receive an education that properly prepares them for college, productive careers, and satisfying lives, the Initiative works to restore the country to its role as a global leader in education.

-- Caroline Cropp