In terms of student diversity, one of the most exciting things to learn about is the Hispanic and Latino community. The term Hispanic has been utilized to generally describe people carrying the heritage from Spanish-speaking areas, regardless of their race. The federal government has employed the term Hispanic, and it is also present in the 1970 version of the Census, which has been adopted in successive releases.
Latino refers to people with lineage in Latin America. There are a few institutions that have adopted the term Latinx as a general term for a gender that takes into consideration multiple, intersectional identities.
The National Center of Education Statistics reports that, within 1976 and 2015, the number of Hispanic students rose from 4% to 17%.
For the first time, Hispanic students hit a new benchmark in 2012, when Hispanic high school graduates entered college at an increased rate compared to their Caucasian peers. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2020, up to one in four college-age students will be classified as Hispanic.
However, ongoing barriers to education directly impact the Hispanic population. Many university-bound Hispanic males and females come from low-income households. Tuition rates increased by 242% from 1998 to 2019 for in-state students at public, academic institutions.
Although there are educational challenges in the Hispanic and Latino community, the NCES forecasts more than 40% growth in Latino and Hispanic college students between 2018 and 2021. Also, this is the biggest minority group in U.S. higher education since the end of 2011.
Similar to any group of students, the accessibility of online degree programs may be considered as an advantage if the versatility of the study schedule simplifies career and family situations.
Following exhaustive research, we believe our list of the 10 Best Online Schools for Hispanic and Latino Students reflects the country’s most impressive distance learning institutions and degree programs that are Hispanic-serving and/or Latino-friendly. Each of the online schools on our list meets these criteria:
- Excellent academic value emphasizing rigorous online degree programs, faculty consisting of field experts, and state-of-the-art facility—all of which are afforded to Hispanic and Latino students as well as non-Hispanic and non-Latino learners,
- A large concentration of Latino and Hispanic enrollees and student population,
- The presence of a cultural center or support department that upholds Latino and Hispanic educational rights, addresses their needs, and resolves issues pertaining to their heritage,
- The presence of organizations that aggressively lead and engage in activities that promote diversity to benefit Latino and Hispanic students and preserve their culture.
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, Texas
An online academic institution that operates within the the University of Texas System, the University of Texas at El Paso has a Hispanic and Latino enrolment rate of 83%. Among all Hispanic-Latino educational institutions, UTEP has been ranked as the second for the most number of degrees granted to Latino and Hispanic students in the United States. It is this commitment to delivery accessibility and merit to students in this region that makes UTEP one of the leading research universities with a considerable Mexican-American student population.
With 80% of its student population being Hispanic, UTEP actively represents the ethnic makeup of the bi-national region from which it attracts the overwhelming majority of its students. About 83% of students in UTEP are from El Paso County, while 4% are from Mexico.
UTEP has also been well-renowned as one of the top-ranking universities in the U.S. in terms of the number of successful Hispanic graduates in law enforcement and related protective services, homeland security, engineering, accounting and associated services, and biological and biomedical science.
The university has a student organization for Latino students, the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). This student organization aims to build new opportunities, contribute value, and establish growing relationships with its business partners, members, and the community towards the expansion of Latino leadership in the global labor force.
Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is an online public university that is notable for being the leading producer of health care specialists in Texas. The undergraduate enrollment rate of the university for Hispanic and Latino students is 28%. For both undergraduate and graduate students, the average annual enrollment rate for Hispanic and Latino students is 25.3%, and 3.33% for two or more races combined. In terms of full-time undergraduate programs, the enrollment rate for Hispanic and Latino students is 27.9%. Also, the enrollment rate for full-time graduate programs for Hispanic and Latino students is 17%.
It was also found that in this university, the next closest ethnicity group or race is the Whites in terms of enrollment is the Hispanic or Latino group, wherein 737 degrees have been granted. Among these degrees are sociology, nursing, health studies, health science, general studies, dental hygiene, criminal justice, business, management, marketing, human resource management, and accounting.
The university has two notable student organizations for Hispanic and Latino students, namely the Spanish for Healthcare Organization (SHO) and the University Network Intercultural Team and Education (UNITE). The goal of the SHO is to offer a suitable environment for those willing to learn Spanish and those who will pursue a career with a Spanish-based population. The UNITE, on the other hand, aims to give assistance to nursing students towards the completion of their programs and establish an environment wherein there are intercultural student mentorship and academic, cultural competence.
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University (NMSU) is an academic institution that caters to both on-campus and online students. Aside from being well-recognized as a top-ranking university, it is also one of the leading educational institutions for Hispanic students, according to the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine. NMSU is regarded as the only academic institution to which the federal government has distinguished both as a Carnegie Research-Extensive institution and an HSI. The average annual enrollment rate for undergraduate students who are Hispanic and Latino in origin is 58.8% and 59.8% for graduate students of the same race. The average yearly enrollment rate for both undergraduate and graduate Hispanic and Latino students is 58.5%.
NMSU has been one of the leading universities in the U.S. with efficient strategies in growing the number of Latino bachelor’s degree holders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM program). Among the degrees that Hispanic and Latino students pursue include elementary education, information, and communication technology, gender and sexuality studies, family and child sciences, criminal justice, general business, marketing, business administration, and sociology.
One of the most notable student organizations for Hispanic and Latino students is the Hispanic Council, which is composed of a group of numerous Hispanic student organizations at NMSU under the administration of Chicano Programs. This council aims to promote cultural awareness and unity among various Hispanic organizations and to develop leadership skills and promote professional development at NMSU.
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) is an online academic institution that is a federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HIS) and is part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The undergraduate and graduate student population at Eastern New Mexico University comprises of 35% Hispanic or Latino and 2.31% two or more races. The enrollment rate for full-time undergraduate programs is 25.2% Hispanic or Latino females and 17.2% for Hispanic or Latino males. The full-time graduate programs have an enrollment rate of 25% for Hispanic or Latino females.
Second, among the degree recipients in this university are Hispanic and Latino students, wherein 445-degree programs were granted. Among these degrees are audiology and speech-language pathology, liberal arts and science, and general studies.
The university’s Office of Hispanic Affairs provides several opportunities for Hispanic and Latino students. Their aim is to be committed to helping students embrace the diverse Spanish-speaking legacy and aid students in attaining their academic goals. They provide students with moral support and a convenient environment that fosters student individuality. Some of the noteworthy activities of the Office of Hispanic Affairs are the Hispanic Heritage Month and the Rey Y Reina Competition.
California State University- East Bay
California State University- East Bay is a public university that is under the California State University system. The enrollment rate for Hispanic and Latino students in terms of undergraduate studies is 33%. Most of the degree holders in the university are Hispanic or Latino in origin, given that there are 1031 degrees granted to them.
The Department of Ethnic Studies of the university is the core of the commitment of the university towards educational excellence for a diverse society. It provides minors and majors that are interdisciplinary and offer a universal approach towards studying the multi-gender immigrant, multicultural, and multiracial society of the U.S.
The Ethnic Studies major is composed of a core of Ethnic Studies support courses in various university departments. It also offers alternatives in ethnic studies for the Latino and Latin American Studies Option.
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a public university that is under the State University System of Florida. The enrollment rate for Hispanic and Latino undergraduate students is 26%. One of the notable events that the university commemorates is the Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. The theme usually revolves on the contributions and service of the Hispanic Americans that have shaped the history of the U.S.
The university also offers the Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies courses that discuss the aspects of the diverse and colorful cultures of Latin America and Spain.
Florida International University
Florida International University is under the public State University System of Florida. The enrollment rate of Hispanic and Latino students for undergraduate programs is 67%.
One of the notable student organizations that cater to Hispanic and Latino students in the Modern Languages Graduate Student Organization (MLGSO), which is under the university’s Department of Modern Languages. The organization caters to students who seek advice, assistance and support in their career and academic goals.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is an academic institution that has been well-known for its discovery and innovation. Aside from being an HSI, it has also reaped the 38th spot for the most number of Latino and Hispanic students who have earned doctorate degrees. The university is the only academic institution that has a reputable public health college in Arizona, which is in the 5th spot nationally in terms of the number of Hispanic graduates. The average annual enrollment rate in terms of its undergraduate programs for Hispanic and Latino students is 67%.
The most notable student organizations for Hispanic and Latino students in the university include:
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund seeks to strengthen Latino families by providing them with resources to achieve higher education. It also offers support services and scholarships to several Hispanic American students.
- The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers modifies lives through the encouragement of the Hispanic community to recognize its maximum potential and its effect on society through STEM development, support, access, and awareness.
- The Association of Latino Professionals for America aims to be the supreme organization helping broaden prospects for Latino world business leadership.
National Louis University
The National Louis University (NLU) is a private, nonprofit university that is high in terms of student diversity. It caters to non-traditional Hispanic and Latino students. Its average annual enrollment rate for undergraduate students is 38%. Most Hispanic and Latino students take undergraduate degree programs in management information systems, human services, health care leadership, criminal justice, business management, and applied communications.
One of the notable student organizations for Hispanic and Latino students in NLU is the Association of Latino Scholars (ALS), which aims to work dynamically in the community towards providing a positive message regarding the significance of continuing education. The organization boasts of its membership under the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). As a national association of 400 universities and colleges, it is dedicated to promoting Hispanic higher education success in Spain, Latin America, Puerto Rico, and the United States.
HACU seeks to improve the academic experience of NLU students through activities that promote cultural awareness on specific issues, influencing the Latino community and events that give motivation to Latino students.
Dobbs Ferry, New York
Mercy College is regarded as a private, nonprofit academic institution that has been considered as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS) under the U.S. Department of Education. The enrollment rate of the Hispanic of Latino students at Mercy College is 35.1%. The cost of enrollment for full-time undergraduate programs of Hispanic or Latino students is 28.3% and 22.3% for full-time graduate programs.
In terms of both undergraduate and graduate degrees granted, 547 degrees were awarded to Hispanic and Latino students. These degrees include psychology, nursing, mathematics, English, cybersecurity, computer science, computer information systems, corporate and homeland security management, international business, sports management, finance, business administration, community health gerontology, and health services management. The School of Liberal Arts offers the Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature program, providing students with a competitive advantage in the job market.
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