EOU Continues Outreach to Hispanic Community

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HAC 8-18-14
Eastern Oregon University President Jay Kenton paid a visit to the Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee Monday night.

The demographics across the country, state and local region are changing rapidly with Latinos continuing to make up an ever-growing percentage of the U.S. population.

That extends to college campuses, as well. At Monday’s meeting of the Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee, representatives from the field of higher education spoke about the need to provide access to education to the fastest-growing segment of the population.

“We’ve been watching the demographics change and we want to reach out to the Latino communities,” said Eastern Oregon University President Jay Kenton. Speaking to a predominantly Hispanic audience, Kenton said the university is committed to providing access and opportunity to Latino students.

“Eastern Oregon University’s success is absolutely intertwined with Eastern Oregon’s success,” he said. “We want to help you economically, as well, with programs to help develop your economy and create jobs.”

Monday’s visit was the second time in two months that EOU representatives have addressed the committee. In June, Dr. Donald Easton-Brooks, dean of Colleges of Business and Education at EOU, spoke to the committee about the Oregon Teacher Pathway Program, designed to increase the number of Hispanic teachers in the state.

Also at Monday’s meeting was Xavier Romano, dean of Student Success and Engagement at EOU. Romano talked about the need for more state funding for higher education.

“Right now, Oregon ranks 46th or 47th in the nation in appropriations to education,” he said. “That’s horrible by any measure.”

Romano said the university is working with legislators to increase funding for higher education. In the meantime, he said EOU will work with every student to find any and all state, federal and university dollars are available to prospective students.

Kenton encouraged those in attendance Monday night to pursue all available funding sources when it comes to educating their children.

“Give us a chance to work with you,” he said. “There is no better investment you can make than an investment in your children.”
Eddie de la Cruz, chairman of the Hispanic Advisory Committee, said it’s important to inform the Hispanic community that resources are available.

“We need to educate our community and show them that there are resources and paths available to getting a good education.”

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