First Fifteen Years Of AAHHE In Review: 2005 - 2020

Hispanic Community April 2021 PREMIUM
Written by Patricia Arredondo, EdD 2021 AAHHE Chair and Victor B. Saénz, PhD, 2020 AAHHE Chair-elect

The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) remains steadfast in its commitment to being an association that expands for the pipeline of the Latinx community in higher education. This occurs at three levels: with graduate fellows, faculty fellows, and those seeking administrative opportunities. AAHHE has made a significant mark to advance Latinx educational success through signature programs herein described.

Mentoring/Training Future Scholars and Leaders

• From 2012 - 2020, 146 master’s level students in the food and agricultural sciences participated in the Latinx STEM Fellows Program, a USDA $500,000 funded program that focused on increasing the doctoral program and workforce pipeline. All participants completed a master’s program and 35% enrolled in a doctoral program.

• Since 2007, 261 doctoral students have participated in the Graduate Fellows Program which focuses on guidance and mentorship to navigate the complexities of higher education and to successfully complete doctoral degrees. 

• Since 2008, 149 early career faculty have participated in the Faculty Fellows Program which focuses on guidance and mentorship to navigate the nuances of attaining tenure.  

• More than 140 early career administrators have participated in the year-long program Executive Leadership Academy (now known as the New Leadership Academy) which focuses on developing administrative preparation skills from DEI perspectives. To deliver the programming, AAHHE partnered with Research 1 Universities, the University of California Berkeley (2011– 2015) and the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity (2015 – 2020). The University of Utah is AAHHE’s new partner as of July 2021.

Showcasing and Celebrating Excellence at the AAHHE Annual Conference

• The Tomás Rivera Lecture, AAHHE’s longest standing lecture series, has highlighted countless thought leaders on critical higher education leaders. The 2021 lecture was given by John King, CEO of Education Trust and former Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama. 

• Since 2017, the Cigarroa Family Medical/STEM Lecture Series has highlighted leaders addressing the advances of the Latinx population in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. 

• The AAHHE Annual Awards Program has recognized and celebrated dozens of faculty, artists, administrators, and Latinx advocates through various awards. 

• The AAHHE Book of the Year Award has recognized more than 25 authors for their contributions focused on the Latinx community and the impact on higher education for Latinxs. In 2021, the Distinguished Senior Authors Awards were established.

Research and Scholarly Leadership

• The Latinx Student Success Institute, a pre-conference session in its 13-year partnership with Educational Testing Service (ETS), focuses on promising practices that address issues of access and success for the Latinx undergraduate population.

• In its third year, the pre-conference Community College Institute specifically targets promising practices and leadership strategies for faculty and administrators. 

• For 13 years, the ETS has sponsored the Outstanding Dissertations Competition, recognizing 30 doctoral candidates for their outstanding dissertations. The top three winners have showcased their dissertations as featured conference sessions. 

• AAHHE annually commissions Latinx scholars to write Scholarly Papers  to address pressing issues facing the Latinx community. These are then published in the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education.  

AAHHE’s New Era: 2021 and Beyond

In the last two years AAHHE has undergone important transitions as an organization, positioning itself to further its mission and impact for Latinx higher education.

Fellows Programs - Realigned & Reimagined

AAHHE is advancing a strategic alignment of the Graduate Fellows, Faculty Fellows, and Administrative Leadership Fellows (NLA) Programs with new curricula, mentorship and resources. This re-alignment will continue to provide a pipeline of talented Latinx scholars and leaders for higher education institutions and other industry sectors. 

New Partnerships

In 2020, AAHHE entered into several strategic partnerships to advance its mission and future plans.  AMC Source became AAHHE’s  business partner in July 2020. This association management company, based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, provides resources and guidance for AAHHE business operations and other management services that support the ongoing operations of the organization. Dr. Lucia Gutierrez, of AMC Source, is the AAHHE Executive Director. 

The University of Utah is AAHHE’s new partner for the New Leadership Academy. A new cohort of Fellows will commence the NLA in July 2021. 

Continuing Partnerships

Long-standing partnerships with the Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education Magazine and Educational Testing Services (ETS) have helped us move our mission forward. The Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education Magazine, a partner since 2007, regularly publishes articles written by AAHHE Graduate Students (“Finding My Way, A Latinx Self-Reflection”) and Faculty Fellows (“Faculty Voices”). 

ETS will continue to co-sponsor the Outstanding Dissertations Competition and Awards, as well as the annual conference Latinx Student Success Institute.  

Advancing Inclusion and Diversity

The Board of Directors is advancing its priority for inclusion and representation of diversity throughout the organization and all areas of programming. Addressing AfroLatinidad and non-binary individuals in Latinx higher education research and practice are strategic priorities. 

Member Participation on AAHHE Board & Committees

In 2021, the Board of Directors announced an open invitation to members to serve on the Board and association’s standing committees. Two at-large members were elected for Graduate and Faculty board positions. This outreach effort aims to engage members on strategic development and the implementation of priority strategies. 

Our Commitment

The AAHHE community will continue to address pipeline issues for Latinxs in higher education. AAHHE is well-positioned to work with institutions of higher education, foundations, business partners, and other collaborative organizations that seek to address these issues. The association is committed to:

• Addressing societal issues as they pertain to the growing Latinx population.

• Convening forums to develop public policy reflecting the changing demographics of our nation.

• Preparing more Latinxs to pursue a career in higher education as faculty, administrators, and policy makers. 

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