Virginia Latino Higher Education Network


is the only state-wide, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization
serving as a networking structure to support, promote, and advocate for Latino success and advancement in higher education for the benefit and betterment of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VALHEN members are all volunteers.
We are driven by the passionate belief that our Latino children and communities must have access to education in order to become full and contributing members of our Commonwealth.

Our strength is our inclusivity at all levels: Latinos and non-Latinos working side by side, with public and private, two- and four-year institutions represented on our Board of Directors and membership ranks.

Twenty years ago . . . a transformation:
-Virginia had two main populations: whites and African Americans. -Latinos concentrated in urban Northern Virginia (DC Metro area); many were associated with the diplomatic and international communities -Migrant workers populated the Eastern Shore and Shenandoah Valley, working in agriculture, food processing, and seafood industries -The military brought Latinos to the Tidewater area -But, many places had never had a Latino resident!

Today . . .
Latino presence has tripled from 1990 to 2006; with growth all over, especially in smaller communities
and, very importantly . . . Virginia does not have a system of higher education, so it is harder for professionals to get to know each other and coordinate efforts

Growth in US Hispanic Population 2000-01 to 2007-08
VA +65%
ND +54.1% NH +60.7% ME +67.3%

SD +69.5%

NV +63.6% UT +52.1%

DE +50.6%

MD +56.3%
WVA+57.6% TN +74.0% SC +77.7% GA +70.2%
+54.7% AR +73.0%

South: +48.9%
West: +26.1%
Midwest: +31.5%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Southwest: +28.4%

Middle States: +18.6%

New England: +26.5%

Latino Population Growth & Projection: U.S. and Virginia 1990 to 2030
1990 US Virginia 9% 2.5% 2000 12.5% 4.7% 2010 16% 6.8% 2020 19.4% 8.3% 2030 23% 10%

Sources: US Census Bureau and Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) 8


Latino College Enrollment in Virginia Up 112% from 1998 to 2008
FALL 2009
4-yr Public VCCS Private/Nonprofit Number of Institutions 15 23 34 % Latino Enrolled 3.8% 5.6% 3.1% Institutions with largest Latino enrollment GMU--7.1% Marymount U. 9.9% W&M-5.4% Roanoke C. 5.8% NVCC-13.7% GCC-5.1%

Source: SCHEV 10

Where are they?


The Virginia Landscape
• About 6.8% of Virginians are Latino • Of these: 60% are US- Citizens
• 47% US-born • 13% naturalized

However. . . for Virginians under 18, the picture is very different!
• 85% are US-born • 3% are naturalized-citizens • 12% are immigrants

• Remaining 40% are non-citizen immigrants

Weldon Cooper Center 2008

Their Roots
Central America: El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and other

South America: Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and other
Caribbean: Cuban and other

Weldon-Cooper Center 2008

By the way . . .


Did you know that . . . ?

Virginia’s Spanish origins date back to the early 16th Century, many years before the English landed in Jamestown in 1607.


• In 1524, Spaniards sailed up the Rio Guandape (James River) & established a settlement of about 600 people (near Jamestown), called San Miguel de Guandape.
• In 1527, after ship-fever almost exterminated the colony, a few stayed to live with the Indians while the rest returned to the island of Hispanola. • In 1570, Spanish Jesuits set up the Ajacan Mission on the York River in the Bahia de la Madre de Dios (the Chesapeake Bay).

In fact . . .
Virginia’s famous wild ponies of Chincoteague Island are the descendants of Arabian horses from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon. It is believed that the horses swam to the island, where they could only eat the salt marsh's coarse cord grasses and seaweed and drink the sea water. The next generation of horses were stunted in growth, but remained very hardy in nature!


The Three-Legged Stool Approach:
1. Create a network of professionals 2. Conduct research on our population 3. Reach out to our community


Goal 1. A Network of Professionals
 Be the connective tissue in Virginia’s web of academic professionals and community leaders.  Disseminate useful information and best practices amongst our members and their institutions.  Facilitate communication and collaboration among our members.

Goal 2. Conduct Research
 Seek out opportunities to conduct research on Virginia’s Latino population, especially pertaining to education. Become the “go-to-source” for expert information on Latinos and education in the Commonwealth. Highlight the research and work of our members.

Goal 3. Reach Out
Seek partners and funders to develop outreach programs designed to increase access and improve success for our Latino students in higher education. Work with parents to help them understand our system of education and better encourage our students to seek post high school education.

Our Journey . . .


In the Beginning . . .
1) Conversations about getting together 2) First Encuentro at VCU in 2007

3) Participants interested in continuing conversations
Dr. Maricel Quintana-Baker Encuentro 2007 Scott House, VCU 24

The Next Year--2008

1) Created Listserv 2) Encuentro 2008 at VCU 3) Attendees very interested in a more formal organization 4) Began work for incorporation 5) Created Website

Participants Encuentro 2008 Student Center, VCU

6) Incorporated in December 2008

2009 Encuentro hosted by Hispanic Caucus of Virginia Tech
1) Prepared application for nonprofit status 2) VCCS Wizard—Spanish version editors

4) Held first general meeting via online method 5) Had 3 sponsors

2010 Encuentro hosted by Virginia State University
1) 2) 3) 4) First scholarship awarded 501c 3 status awarded December 2009 First time membership benefits secured Increased sponsors to eleven

VA Secretary of Education

Gerard Robinson


Next Steps

Encuentro 2011 Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale Campus
March 24 & 25


The Next 12 Months:
1) Prepare for 2011 Encuentro 2) Seek additional sponsors 3) Increase membership 4) Augment scholarship funds 5) Start Lecture Series-Fall 2010 6) Create Advisory Board 7) Implement Outreach Program 8) Reinstate Listserv


1) Re-design logo and website 2) Hire part-time executive director 3) Finalize location for 2012 Encuentro 4) Expand outreach efforts 5) Increase sponsors and membership

Questions? ¿Preguntas?

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