(left to right) Matthew Mata, president of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) student chapter at San Jacinto College; Dina Castillo, government professor and TACHE student chapter sponsor; and Saul Zarco, educational planner and TACHE Gulf Coast regional representative and student chapter sponsor. Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department
As the nation recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month, San Jacinto College is releasing a series of student and faculty achievement stories as a celebration of the culture and traditions of 52 million (U.S. Census Bureau) people in the United States whose heritage comes from Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
San Jacinto College student organization formed to increase Hispanic college completion
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- September 18, 2012
PASADENA, Texas – The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) has introduced a student chapter on the San Jacinto College Central Campus.
TACHE is a professional association that provides state, regional, and local forums to collaborate with institutions to create workable solutions for Hispanic issues in higher education. Hispanic students make up 6 percent of the nation's college population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Thirteen percent of the Hispanic population, 25 years of age and older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
"It's great to have support from an association like TACHE, to be able to make a difference both locally and statewide," said Matthew Mata, who will serve this year as president of the TACHE student chapter at San Jacinto College." This is what we need, a group that brings awareness to not only Latino culture, but encourages more Latinos to strive for higher education and for those leadership positions."
Mata is pursuing his associate degree in automotive technology and plans to transfer to the University of Houston (UH). He comes from a family with strong ties to higher education. One of his sisters attends the University of Texas at Austin, while the other attends the Berklee College of Music in Boston; both his mother and father hold degrees.
This year, Mata said the TACHE student chapter will work toward leadership and team building through community outreach with various organizations throughout Houston.
Although the chapter's goal is to increase awareness of issues relating to Hispanics in higher education, the group welcomes students from all different ethnic and cultural backgrounds to create a more inclusive environment for perspectives within a diverse institution.
"We are going to mentor a lot of these students," said Saul Zarco, educational planner with the College and the Gulf Coast regional representative for TACHE. "Thanks to the full support received from our faculty, staff, and administrators, we’ll help more students transfer to Tier 1 and Ivy League institutions, to become those competitive sought-after applicants."
Zarco is currently working on the launch of a San Jacinto College Latino Leadership Initiative, set for later this academic year, modeled after the Harvard University Latino Leadership Initiative through the Center for Public Leadership. Its purpose will be to encourage Latino student participation in leadership roles and activities to further increase the rate of college completion and transfer rates.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.