Agriculture Secretary Signs Agreement with Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to Help Hispanic Americans Achieve Education Excellence
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to provide a cooperative framework that will develop and maintain a partnership between the USDA and Hispanic-Serving Institutions to enhance educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans, and prepare and encourage America's young people to pursue careers in agriculture-related fields.
"This agreement fosters a partnership with Hispanic-serving colleges and universities to provide them with a world-class education that will prepare and motivate young people to pursue opportunities presented in agriculture-related careers," said Vilsack. "Today's students are tomorrow's innovators, and providing educational support is an essential component of promoting agriculture, food, and environmental sciences. Working hand-in-hand with our partners, we can help meet President Obama's vision to out-educate our global competitors and raise a generation of Americans who are ready to lead their communities, strengthen the economy and win the future."
This agreement establishes a framework that will be used to build programs and related activities within USDA to create and expand opportunities for Hispanic students.
To help students achieve excellence, the MOU encourages Hispanic-Serving schools and USDA to work side-by-side to better prepare students, and increase employment and educational opportunities within USDA for faculty, students, and staff at HACU-member institutions. These opportunities include targeting USDA resources for strengthening the research, teaching, and outreach capacities of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, colleges, and universities.
USDA also will agree to:
Provide HACU's network with information on available employment, scholarships, internships, fellowships, and cooperative education opportunities for qualified students and faculty;
Participate in on-campus career orientation and recruitment activities at HACU-member institutions;
Coordinate planning for pre-collegiate and collegiate programs for students of HACU-member institutions;
Encourage USDA agencies to establish partnerships with HACU-member institutions to promote research and outreach in areas of mutual interest;
And provide operational support, including sponsorship of conferences and events relevant to the mission of USDA.
Under this MOU, the agricultural industry and educational community can work together to optimize outreach, cultivate opportunity, and develop support for Hispanic students across the country.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).