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Monday, November 6, 2017

COE Dean Moderates National Panel

professor with his students
Hispanics represent approximately 17 percent of the U.S. population. However, only about 15 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to about 35.2 for non-Hispanic whites.

Hoping to improve those statistics, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities held its Sixth Annual Deans’ Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in San Diego to discuss issues and opportunities for academic success of Hispanic students in higher education.

Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Dean of the College of Education, moderated a panel of experts who spoke about “Supporting and Retaining Hispanic Teachers—Including Roles of School Leaders.” The panel included Jose Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education at California State University, Monterey Bay; JoAnn J. Canales, Ph.D., founding dean, College of Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; and Jaime Chahin, Ph.D., dean, College of Applied Arts, Texas State University.

“I believe there is a moral imperative related to this particular session,” said Johnson, adding that it was an honor to be invited to represent the San Diego State University’s College of Education. “We should feel a commitment to helping ensure that children have outstanding teachers who mirror the diversity of our communities.”

Johnson said that teacher diversity, or the lack of it, sends powerful message to children about their capacity to learn and excel.

“In general, human beings leave places where they don't feel valued, respected, and capable. It is clear that school systems can do a better job of making all teachers feel valued, respected, and capable,” Johnson said. “Great administrators can create a culture in which teachers of color know that they are appreciated and valued. Great administrators can help teachers feel that the administration is committed to ensuring their professional success.”

Established in 1986, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. Although HACU’s member institutions in the U.S. represent only 10 percent of all higher education institutions in the country, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students.