The White House has named a program co-founded at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.” The Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) will now be included in an online catalog of more than 230 programs nationwide that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.
CAHSI was formed in 2004, with funding from the National Science Foundation, as a grassroots effort to increase the number of Hispanic students who pursue and complete baccalaureate and advanced degrees in the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering areas. The University of Texas at El Paso is the lead institution of the Alliance. A&M-Corpus Christi, under the guidance of Dr. John Fernandez, who retired last year as the Associate Director of the School of Engineering and Computing Science, was a co-founding member of the Alliance and remains an active member.
“As a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is committed to offering higher education opportunities to the Hispanic community,” said Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Associate Professor and Director of the Innovation in Computing Research Labs. “The recognition of an Alliance co-founded by the Island University highlights what TAMU-CC has to offer its students.”
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was founded to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. The “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” national online catalog, www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative, is just one of the ways the initiative encourages collaboration between stakeholders, like A&M-Corpus Christi, who are focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice and effective partnerships. This ultimately results in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community from cradle to career.
“There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education,” said Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. “These programs and organizations are working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential.”
Federal research shows that in 2011, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computing fields awarded by CAHSI schools went to Hispanics, which is nearly 10 times the national rate.
“CAHSI consistently produces large numbers of Computer Science master’s program students who are Hispanic,” Mahdy said. “This is quite significant, given the overall low rate of Hispanic computing degree attainment each year in the nation.”
CAHSI departments graduated 22 percent of all Hispanic CS/CE baccalaureates in the mainland U.S. in 2013-2014.