Newman University is grounded in the belief that a college education is a life-changing pursuit that should be made available to all.
As an extension of that, the university has been recognized in a number of ways, including by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) as one of the first four-year colleges in Kansas to be a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI).
By definition, these are postsecondary institutions that enroll at least 25% Latino undergraduate students. But being designated an HSI goes beyond merely enrolling students with Hispanic backgrounds.
As a member of the HACU, Newman is in the process of completing its application with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for its Hispanic-serving institution designation, which will open other funding opportunities for students. In addition to following the DOE’s process, Newman is collaborating with Excelencia in Education, an organization that provides guidance to expand beyond enrollment to intentionally serve Latino students.
“Our focus is not only to be a Hispanic-enrolling institution but more importantly to be known as a university that serves its students well, including those on our campus who represent marginalized groups, such as Hispanic, African American, Asian and Native American students,” President Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., MPH said.
“I learned a lot of facts like how there are currently five colleges in Kansas looking to become HSI schools, how according to votes we have 5 million students (identifying as Latino) and how eventually 78% of the workforce will be Latino,” said Valle.
Fuentes added, “Hearing about HSI and HACU as a first-generation student coming from an immigrant household, you feel overwhelmed with joy because you realize that people actually want to see you succeed in your career.”
Newman was also recently honored by the Kansas Hispanic Education Foundation with a “Make a Difference” award. In early May, the organization announced that Newman was a 2023 award recipient for providing more than 30 scholarships for Hispanic students and more than $7,000 in support of its educational initiatives.
Executive Director Micaela Ramirez said, “It is an honor to work with professionals of Newman’s high caliber whose hard work and dedication continue to make a difference for our KHEDF scholars and mission.”
She also acknowledged Newman’s recognition as an HSI stating that “Newman’s work has and will continue to make it possible for Hispanic students to have more opportunities within post-secondary education.”