Regional service center schedules 2nd annual Symposium for Hispanic Leadership in Education

By the year 2050, the United States will be 25 percent Hispanic. It is now 14 percent. The national graduation rate for Hispanic public schools students was only 52 percent last year, and 42 percent of Hispanic high school seniors are unable to read above the "basic" level.

In response to these statistics, the Southwest Plains Regional Service Center chose "Serving, Supporting and Sustaining Hispanic Students" as the theme for its second annual Symposium for Hispanic Leadership in Education.

The symposium, co-sponsored by Fort Hays State University and FHSU's College of Education and Technology, is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Garden City Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 1911 E. Kansas Ave., Garden City.

Last year's symposium theme dealt with recruiting and retaining both Hispanic students and faculty. This year, the focus is primarily on understanding the needs of Hispanic students.

"Last year, our 'ah ha' moment was when we realized all of our sessions seemed to focus on Hispanic students rather than faculty," said Carol J. Swinney, distance learning coordinator of the SPRSC. "This year we've decided to dedicate this symposium to the students. We want to show educators the resources available to support their Hispanic students and address the needs that are not being met. The symposium will encourage discussion among attendees, and hopefully, if we put this many like-minded people together, we'll come up with solutions to the current problems."

For more information, contact Swinney at (620) 675-8811 or To register, contact Vicki Gaskill at or (800) 728-1022.

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