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National Hispanic University Foundation and Santa Clara University Announce Innovative Collaboration to Create Educational Opportunities for Hispanic Communities

The NHU Foundation and Santa Clara University are pleased to announce new plans for the use of the former National Hispanic University (NHU) campus in East San Jose. The Foundation is moving forward with plans to establish the Institute for Hispanic Educational Advancement at the campus beginning June 16, 2014. The Institute will be the first collaboration of its kind to integrate research, policy, and practice to provide a national focus on advancing Hispanic students with a concentration on educational achievement, attainment, and advancement.

The first member of the collaboration is the Santa Clara University School of Education and Counseling Psychology. The Foundation and SCU have agreed to offer a premier graduate studies program for the development of culturally responsive educational leaders. The East San Jose satellite campus will allow graduate students the opportunity to earn an SCU master of arts in teaching and California single or multiple subject teaching credential.

“This collaboration is just one of many ways Santa Clara University demonstrates our values of social justice and education,” said SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are pleased to provide important resources that will assist students in their professional studies and strengthen communities with opportunities for a better education and brighter future for their children.”

SCU has established a scholarship program to help students currently enrolled in the NHU teaching credential program complete their single or multiple subject teaching credential and earn their master of arts in teaching. Additional scholarships will be available to attract aspiring teachers who commit to teach in schools with predominantly underserved Hispanic populations and to ensure that the number of culturally-responsive teachers in Santa Clara County is increased to meet the needs of the student population.

“Our goal is to offer innovative and transformative programs for teachers, who in turn make the greatest impact on the children whom they teach,” said Nicholas Ladany, dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. “It is critical that schools of education learn about what works best for engaging Hispanic students, and we are humbled by this opportunity.”

Pew research predicts Hispanic children will make up 25 percent of the nation’s youth (ages 0 to 8) by 2030. Today, Hispanic students lag behind Non-Hispanic Whites and Asian Americans on most measures of academic achievement including test scores and high school and college graduation rates.

The second component of the Institute will be the relocation of the Foundation’s two charter high schools, Latino College Preparatory Academy and the Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy, to the former NHU campus. The relocation is scheduled for July 1, 2014. Latino College Prep and Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy will collaborate in a unique apprenticeship clinical model that includes its campus partners, and the SCU School of Education and Counseling Psychology graduate program. Future plans include additional K-8 partners.

The Latino College Preparatory Academy and SCU’s satellite campus will be located in a section of Sobrato Hall, the building housing the former NHU campus. The space has been made available thanks to a generous donation from SCU trustee John A. Sobrato.

“Educating the growing Hispanic community has been a passion of mine for the past 15 years since I first joined the Board of NHU and LCPA,” says Sobrato. “I am delighted that Santa Clara University is enhancing the teacher credential program commenced by NHU and I expect the program will grow over time.”

The third component of the Institute is the Hispanic Education Research & Policy Center. Also scheduled to open this summer on the campus, the Center will be a data-driven source of advice on the design, testing, and evaluation of new or modified education strategies for raising Hispanic educational attainment and academic achievement. The Center will work closely with public and education policymakers to develop policies and practices that provide educational equity in school systems with large Hispanic populations.

“The Board of our Foundation is both proud and excited that a University as prestigious as Santa Clara has chosen to participate in this project,” says President of the NHU Foundation and SCU trustee emeritus Ed Alvarez. “Their investment in the youth that are most in need of an improved education will have a significant and long lasting impact in the classrooms that serve our Hispanic community.”

The Foundation is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David Lopez as Executive Director of the Institute. Dr. Lopez will direct the efforts of the collaboration partners as a comprehensive source of research and information on educational attainment and academic achievement for the underserved Hispanic population of the county, state, and nation.

About the NHU Foundation

The NHU Foundation was founded in 1982 as a public benefit, nonprofit corporation and has operated the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) charter high school since 2002. LCPA has successfully prepared its students for college with 50 percent admitted to UC and CSU schools and the other 50 percent to local community colleges.

Its curriculum is structured around the highly successful Reading and Writing Initiative developed by Stanford professor Dr. Guadalupe Valdes who serves as an advisor to the school. This summer the Foundation will open two new charter high schools, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy to be located in the Franklin McKinley School District and Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy to be located on the campus of NHU. All three of its schools will focus on preparing English learners for college.

In addition, Roberto Cruz Academy will also focus on preparing students to pursue the teaching profession as a college major. Luis Valdez, a nationally known playwright, will serve the school in his name on the incorporation of art and drama into the academic curriculum. All three schools will participate in a unique clinical model to be developed by the Institute in collaboration with SCU School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About the School of Education and Counseling Psychology

Guided by strong dedication to academic excellence and service to society, the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University educates compassionate, competent, and ethical professionals committed to meaningful and supportive engagement with people, schools, and communities. The School offers master’s degree, certificate, and professional credential programs in teacher preparation and advanced studies, educational leadership and administration, and counseling psychology. Its core values include academic excellence through engaged teaching and learning, educating the whole person, multiculturalism and social justice, and innovative education for conscience and compassion. For more information, see www.scu.edu/ecp

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