HSU Launches Two New Centers for Academic Excellence

Student Success
April 1, 2016
Submitted by: 
Peg Blake

In September 2015, HSU launched two new Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence – an African-American Center for Academic Excellence and a Latin@ Center for Academic Excellence. Both of these new student-centered programs are housed in newly redesigned facilities on the 2nd floor of Nelson Hall East, and add to and complement HSU’s two longstanding centers – the MultiCultural Center (MCC) and the Native American Center for Academic Excellence (or Indian Tribal and Educational Personnel Program, ITEPP).

Two staff members were hired to lead these two new programs: Araceli Diaz, as Coordinator of the Latin@ Center for Academic Excellence, and Dr. John Johnson, as Coordinator of the African-American Center for Academic Excellence. Each Coordinator oversees a team of student staff, who offer support to student visitors, assist with the Centers’ events and programming, liaise with student organizations across campus, and generally support the Centers’ operations and services for students.

Both new Centers got off to a successful start last semester, with each of the new Centers drawing in approximately 300 unique student visitors over the course of the Fall 2015 semester, most of whom returned for multiple visits (some students over 50 times!). Student visitors came to the Centers to do homework and study, use the computers, visit faculty holding office hours in the Centers, hang out with friends, and for general academic support.

All of the Centers (both the new Centers and the longstanding ones) also offered a rich array of programming, with many workshops for students covering a range of academic and career development topics, as well as many opportunities for the campus community for inter-cultural learning, critical dialogue and cultural celebration.