FPU working to reach out to Hispanic students

Efforts to better cultivate the varied population of its region begin to bear fruit at Fresno Pacific University.

FPU is virtually tied for first with one other institution among Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in the number of Hispanic undergraduate students, according to the latest annual enrollment report furnished to the U.S. Department of Education. The same report ranks FPU first among California CCCU institutions and in the top 10 among members of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU).

The report notes 18.7 percent of FPU undergraduate students are from Hispanic backgrounds. This figure includes both traditional and adult programs leading to a bachelor’s degree.

“Our increases in enrollment for Latino students is a direct result of a growing reputation for academic quality and our commitment to a student-centered approach,” said Cary Templeton, associate dean of enrollment services. “Our marketing and financial aid strategies have made FPU affordable, while the great Latino students who enroll make this a very comfortable place to build lasting friendships.”

The university is also in the process of becoming the first CCCU school nationally to join the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). That organization could help FPU reach its goal of 25 percent undergraduate Hispanic enrollment. If this happens, then FPU could apply for federal grants of up to $500,000 per year for five years, earmarked for further encouraging Hispanic students.

The HACU represents more than 280 colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. Although member institutions represent less than 7 percent of all higher education institutions in the U.S., together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students.

The association’s goals are to promote the development of member colleges and universities; to improve access to and the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students; and to meet the needs of business, industry and government through the development and sharing of resources, information and expertise. 

The CCCU represents 163 regular- and affiliate-member schools from 33 denominations and 21 countries. These colleges and universities serve 246,000 students.

The AICCU represents 76 California independent colleges and universities. These institutions work together to maintain the high standards of private college education, taking pride in offering a personal touch with respect to admissions, teaching and campus environment and encouraging each campus to have its own unique character.