The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Moraine Valley Community College the distinction of being a Hispanic-Serving Institution because 25% of full-time students enrolled at the college are of Hispanic descent.
“It is an honorable moment knowing the hard work of our students and staff has assisted Moraine Valley in being recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. We know the Latino population is growing exponentially in our community. Based on student and community feedback, Moraine Valley is seen as a place to feel accepted, where individuals can begin their professional educational journey, retool a career or just to take classes to enrich their lives,” said Chet Shaw, dean of Student Services.
The college has been working on this initiative for over a decade. Staff members in various departments have played a role in targeting initiatives to LatinX students on campus every year. Some of those efforts include hiring bilingual recruiters and staff, translating the college recruitment materials into Spanish, building and supporting the Alliance of Latin American Students student club, and growing the number of LatinX and black students in the dual credit program.
As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Moraine Valley is eligible for grant funding to expand educational and scholarship opportunities for Hispanic students as well as enhance academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability. The designation also will help the college increase the number of Hispanic students attaining degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; develop model transfer and articulation agreements between two- and four-year institutions in such fields; and have more collaborative interactions with partnership Hispanic-Serving institutions.
“The Latino Students and Community Committee has worked diligently with our students, staff and community partners to implement and provide quality programming and strategies to attract, retain and help our Latinx students along their path to graduation,” said Adrienne Stewart, director of Multicultural Student Affairs and the English Language Learner Center, and chair of Latino Students and Community committee “It is wonderful to see our efforts come to fruition for the benefit of our surrounding communities. I look forward to the opportunity of developing and offering more creative social and educational programming.”