The University of St. Thomas Houston plans to launch a new online associated degree program that is completely taught in Spanish to appeal to the flourishing Latin community of the city, from the spring of 2023. The students who register and complete the program will graduate with an associate of applied science in liberal studies.

The student body of the Catholic University, an institution of Hispanic service, is 42 percent Latin, reflecting the population of the city, which is 44.5 percent Latin, according to the United States the office of the office of the Census.

Administrators believe that the program will attract a completely new demographic group within the local community that other schools and universities could be overlooked. Its objective is to serve both native Spanish histories who want to obtain a title, but do not speak English with fluid and future students in English who want to strengthen their Spanish skills.

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Emiliano González, president of teaching and learning and the director of curriculum and instruction in the University said there is a "great need" in Houston for a totally Spanish program, especially among older immigrants who want to improve their education and gain titles to ensure better jobs. He pointed out that the university previously presented a master's program in pastoral theology that was taught in Spanish, which has "taken off" and has grown from 30 students enrolled to at least 250 students for several years.

"There is a great, Big Market for the program,” said González, who is a member of the development of the advisory committee that guides the development of the associated degree program. He hopes that the older members of the Latin community are Especially interested in her.

“When they come here, many times they come to work and really neglect their studies because they want to make their families move forward," he said. "Later, when they are established and so on, they want to continue."

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The School of Innovation and Professional Studies of the University of Kolbe in 2019 began offering online associated degree programs that have attracted older students in the middle of 40, said Justo García, an admissions advisor in the school.

For Garcia, who grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of St. Thomas Houston, this work hits near home.

These students will be "mothers, parents, uncles, au older. I think of people in my family who speak Spanish but who can have wrong concepts about access and schools, perhaps the lack of opportunities or lack of awareness of resources and opportunities. " Stories

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  • Applicants for the new associated degree program will undergo an interview process in part to evaluate their Spanish and English skills and have an idea of ​​their plans of career after postgraduate or interest in pursuing a degree. The University plans to embed English as a second language courses in the curriculum for interested students who plan to obtain four -year titles or that would otherwise benefit from reinforcing their English skills. The hope is that some students will continue in degree programs at St. Thomas Houston.

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