Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Included in White House Initiative's Bright Spots in Hispanic Education

K’Leigh Sims

September 18, 2015

Two university programs are recognized in a national online catalog created by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

White House Initiative

In an effort to feature programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics, Texas Tech University's Upward Bound and PEGASUS programs recently were selected as Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics for its inaugural online catalog, featuring 230 programs nationally.

The announcement was made by the Initiative Tuesday (Sept. 15) at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the Initiative's 25th anniversary in Washington, D.C.

M. Duane Nellis

“What an honor this is for both Texas Tech and our Institutional Diversity programs,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “This, in addition to other awards Texas Tech has received for its diversity efforts, is a testament to the hard work our faculty and staff have put in to ensure Hispanic students can receive the resources they need, whether it be resources for first-generation students, preparation for secondary education, financial aid or assistance during their college careers.

“Congratulations to the Institutional Diversity staff for being recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.”

Upward Bound and PEGASUS (Pioneers in Education Generations Achieving Scholarship and Unprecedented Success), both within the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, are first-generation student programs that provide preparation, assistance and mentorship to students from families with no higher educational background. The two programs were the only ones selected from the Lubbock or South Plains area.

Juan S. Muñoz

Juan Muñoz, senior vice president for Institutional Diversity and vice provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, said he is very proud of the unprecedented contributions the Division of Institutional Diversity has made in helping the university reach its inclusive excellence and come closer to the Hispanic Serving Institution recognition the university has been working toward.

“While Texas Tech has long recognized it is indeed a bright spot in higher education,” he said, “it is further gratifying the White House has acknowledged our efforts to support students, specifically Hispanics, and as we continue to successfully educate the current and emerging demographics of the state.”

The Initiative was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. With the Bright Spots, the Initiative seeks to leverage the programs to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community throughout each person's life.

To see a full list of all the Bright Spots, visit the Initiative's website.