14:10 PM

President Flores Joins Houston-Area Leaders as Panelist for "Latino Perspectives 2014"

Latino-Perspectives-2014-PanelUHD President Bill Flores joined a panel of top Latino corporate and economic leaders this week for Houston's "Latino Perspectives 2014," which addressed the Hispanic community's educational, social and business future. Houston's Sucesos Magazine sponsored the event as part of its 8th anniversary celebration.

He focused on Hispanics and higher education and the ways in which, working with community and industry partners, colleges and universities can increase opportunities for Latinos.

Flores cited statistics from a recent report by Dr. Raymond Padilla at the University of Texas at San Antonio regarding Hispanics and education. According to this study submitted to the Lumina Foundation, for every 100 Latino elementary students, only 10 graduate from college and four earn a graduate degree. He noted that Latinos continue to lag behind other groups in earning bachelor's degrees and that Hispanic college students are less likely to enroll in a four-year university or attend school full time.

However, Flores also shared the results of a recent Pew Hispanic Research Center study showing that - while college enrollments fell in the U.S. between 2011 and 2012, only one group broke this trend - Hispanics. In fact, the study found that Hispanic college enrollments were up, reflecting Latino population growth and a growing share of young Hispanics who are prepared for college.

He noted UHD's great diversity and the fact that Latino students comprise nearly 42 percent of the University's student body. Flores also shared that - when it comes to overall degrees awarded to Hispanics - UHD is ranked in the top five public universities in the nation for accounting degrees, top 10 in the nation for interdisciplinary studies degrees and top 15 in the country for business, marketing and management, finance and engineering technology degrees.

"I applaud Sucesos Magazine for holding this important forum, said Flores. "When industry, non-profits, law enforcement and higher education partner to support Latino students, everyone prospers."

Other event panelists included Claudia Aguirre-Vasquez, senior vice president and chief program officer at Neighborhood Centers Inc.; David Armijo, director of multicultural initiatives at H&R Block; Sonia Clayton, president and CEO of Virtual Intelligence Providers LLC; and Laura Murillo, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Martha Kattan, Univision news director, served as emcee for the discussion.