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National U Initiative to Boost Hispanic Student Success Through DEI, Teaching, Advising, and Transfer Practices

National University (NU) in San Diego, a private, nonprofit Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), has been awarded a five-year, $3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to help foster Hispanic student success through enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, teaching, advising, and transfer practices. The grant has been made available through the Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program.

NU serves over 40,000 students, almost a third of whom identify as Hispanic, giving it its HSI designation. According to the U.S. Census, Hispanic enrollment in college has more than doubled since 2008. ED notes that 44% of Hispanic college students are the first in their families to attend college.

NU will launch an initiative called ACCESS (Accelerating Curricular Change and Enhancing Student Support), led by personnel in student services, academic affairs, and the office of Social Justice Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. ACCESS will be a three-pronged effort toward classroom inclusivity, education equity, and reduction of education costs for Hispanic students. To help reduce costs, NU will pursue agreements with other HSIs to accept more course credit transfers to count toward a degree. Funds will also be used to train faculty and staff and support professional development.

Founded in 1971 as a nonprofit educational institution, NU has more than 75 degree programs and 100-plus online and on-campus programs with flexible four-week classes to help customize education plans for diverse students. Coupled with an asset-based teaching strategy that focuses on the strengths students and teachers bring to the classroom, NU's "Whole Human" approach to education focuses on five "pillars of support": financial, academic, career, family/community, and social/emotional. Visit the university's About page to learn more.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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