FORT KNOX, Ky., Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army today renewed its longstanding partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) by announcing its sponsorship of HACU's upcoming 25th annual national conference as well as expanding its support of the HACU-Army College Tour program. The Army's partnership with HACU is based on a mutual commitment to preparing Hispanic youth for academic and career success. Specific programs will provide students, teachers and school officials with information about the educational programs and resources available through the Army, both at the high school and collegiate level.
Over the past five years, the U.S. Army has provided $5.5 million per year in ROTC scholarships to 67 HACU-affiliated colleges and universities – totaling $27.4 million. During this period, the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corp (ROTC) programs at these 67 HACU-affiliated colleges and universities have commissioned nearly 700 Army officers.
"The Army places a high value on education and is honored to collaborate with HACU to make a college education a reality for many young Latinos," said Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command. "Through this important partnership, we can provide thousands of students and their parents with information about financial aid and educational resources available through the Army."
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 college enrollment rates among Hispanic high school graduates was 59.6 percent, the lowest among all ethnicities. With Hispanics representing the fastest growing ethnic minority in the U.S., the Army is committed to working with leading organizations such as HACU to ensure Hispanic youth are well-prepared to pursue leadership positions, whether as civilians or in service to the nation.
"The lack of financial means should not be a barrier to earning a college degree and embarking on a successful career," added Maj. Gen. McDonald. "The leadership skills that ROTC develops will not only serve our nation's defense, they will also serve our communities when officers return to civilian life as business leaders, engineers, physicians and perhaps even as educators," added Maj. Gen. McDonald.
Army representatives will join HACU at the organization's national conference from Oct. 29-31 in San Antonio. The conference is expected to draw more than 3,000 students, college and university administrators and educators and community leaders. There, Army officials will meet with attendees to share information about its educational resources and leadership development programs.
In addition to the national conference, the Army is expanding its support of the HACU-Army College Tour program which brings high school students to college campuses – some for the first time – to learn more about pathways to higher education. The program allows student and guidance counselors to meet with university and Army officials to learn more about financial aid, admissions processes and campus life. This fall the HACU-Army College Tour program will return to the University of Texas at San Antonio (Nov. 7-11) and will expand to Florida International University in Miami in early 2012 (Feb. 22-24).
"HACU and the Army have a rich history of collaboration to improve the success of high school and college students," said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU. "We are excited to continue providing high school students the vital tools necessary to pursue and attain a college degree through the HACU and U.S. Army University Tours program, which last year served more than 600 students."
About the United States Army Accessions Command (USAAC)
The U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC), a subordinate command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, meets the human resource needs of the Army by transforming volunteers into officers, warrant officers, and enlisted Soldiers. In providing the force, the 18,400 men and women of Accessions Command prepare these future Soldiers and leaders for their initial military training. Commanded by Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, USAAC is located at Fort Knox, Ky.
SOURCE U.S. Army