I can’t link to the whole article because The Chronicle of Higher Education requires paid subscriptions, but here’s the beginning of “Swimming Against the Political Tide, a Public University in Georgia Reaches Out to Hispanics” in the current issue:

Nestled on a leafy campus on the Georgia coast, Armstrong Atlantic State University is striving to position itself as a destination for Latino students, a segment of the nation’s population projected to grow rapidly in the next decade and beyond.

Armstrong has responded to that demographic change—and to the call to focus on Latinos in pursuit of President Obama’s goal that by 2020, the United States will lead the world in the proportion of residents with a college degree.

I’m not sure that Armstrong — where I’ve been teaching full-time for a number of years now — is “swimming against the political tide”, but I guess it seems like that to a national audience who know about Georgia’s tough new law aimed at illegal immigration and undocumented workers.

Armstrong has simply been broadening its appeal, diversifying its student body, and actively reaching out to the fastest growing ethnic group in the country generally and in Georgia and the Savannah area specifically. Note this release from last May, The Goizueta Foundation Awards $870,000 to Armstrong, which reads in part:

Atlanta-based The Goizueta Foundation has awarded Armstrong Atlantic State University an $870,000 grant to continue to support a comprehensive Latino outreach, recruitment, progression and graduation initiative on campus. This is the third grant awarded to Armstrong by The Goizueta Foundation—previous grants were awarded in 2003 and 2006—bringing the total support from The Foundation to advance Hispanic/Latino education at Armstrong to $1,974,205.

Or this Savannah Morning News article from November that details Armstrong’s role in leading efforts by a coalition of institutions:

Lumina Foundation for Education has selected Armstrong Atlantic State University as one of 12 lead institutions for a national collaborative partnership focused on the success of Latino students.

The project is designed to leverage the connection between the educational achievements of Latinos and the future of the national economy.

“Armstrong is pleased to take on this role and bring together our community partners in a national effort to increase access to higher education for Latinos,” said Armstrong president Linda Bleicken. “We are honored that Lumina Foundation chose to select Armstrong for this vital initiative, and we look forward to continuing this work that ultimately changes lives and creates a positive impact on our region.”

Lumina will provide $7.2 million to fund the four-year national project that aims to increase the proportion of Americans with college degrees to 60 percent by 2025. At more than 50 million, Latinos represent the largest and fastest-growing population group in the United States.

Once I’ve looked at a hard copy of the Chronicle’s article, I’ll follow up here with any details of interest.

This is great exposure in one of the nation’s most important education periodicals for Armstrong, for Savannah, and for Georgia.

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