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APSU is No. 1 choice for state's Hispanic students

APSU boasts the largest number of Hispanic students among all of Tennessees public colleges and universities.

In Fall 2004, APSU enrolled 438 Hispanic students, compared to 415 at Middle Tennessee State University, which has the states second largest Hispanic enrollment. Although UT-Knoxville had a Fall 2004 enrollment of more than 25,000 students, only 360 were Hispanic.
APSU boasts the largest number of Hispanic students among all of Tennessee's public colleges and universities.

In Fall 2004, APSU enrolled 438 Hispanic students, compared to 415 at Middle Tennessee State University, which has the state's second largest Hispanic enrollment. Although UT-Knoxville had a Fall 2004 enrollment of more than 25,000 students, only 360 were Hispanic.

Dr. Houston Davis, APSU associate vice president for academic affairs, recently attended a higher education policy forum in Santa Fe, N.M. The forum focused on higher education's role in society and the economy. One topic discussed was the shifting demographics of the United States.

Davis says, “I listened closely to the presentation. Afterwards, I reviewed the NCHEMS's (National Center for Higher Education Management Systems) written report.

“If you look at a U.S. map in the report, it's easy to see that the Hispanic population is clustered thickly in California and contiguous states, in Texas and Florida and, to a lesser degree, along the Northeast coast. On the same map, there are circles indicating which higher education institutions serve 90 percent of the nation's total Hispanic population.

“Austin Peay and MTSU are the only schools in Tennessee listed among the top Hispanic-serving institutions in the United States. To me, that was a dramatic discovery.”

Dr. Miguel R. Ruiz-Aviles, associate professor of Spanish, says APSU is an attractive college choice for Hispanic students. “Our small classes, with more one-on-one interaction, are appealing to them, as is the faculty's open-door policy. We have several faculty members who are fluent in Spanish. That makes our Hispanic students feel comfortable here.”

Ruiz-Aviles also notes that APSU's Spanish Honor Society, Pi Nu Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, sponsors numerous activities each year, most of which focus on the Hispanic culture.

In addition, APSU offers two Hispanic study-abroad programs. Ruiz-Aviles takes students on a Study-Abroad in Spain each summer, while Dr. Ramon Magrans, professor of Spanish, has headed up a highly successful Study-Abroad in Mexico for 23 years, accompanying an average of 50 students to Mexico in the summer and about 25 during APSU's winter break.

For more information, telephone Davis at (931) 221-7676.
—Dennie Burke