The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network selected Virginia Tech as the host of the 2015 Hispanic College Institute.

The three-day program is for Hispanic high school sophomores and juniors in Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN) started the event in 2012 to combat myths and misconceptions about the college search process and prepare Hispanic students for college.

Students will attend workshops and seminars to learn about admissions, financial aid, and the college search process. They will meet college professors and professionals to talk about their academic interests. 

NASA has partnered with VALHEN and will offer various workshops and panels to encourage students to consider STEM-related programs. For the last two years, NASA has sent a Hispanic astronaut to the event for students to meet as part of their experience.

“We are thrilled to be at Virginia Tech and so grateful for their support and recognition of our Latino students,” said Maricel Quintana-Baker, chair of the institute's selection committee. “The Hispanic College Institute is a vital program for our community and ensures these students continue on to college.”

For many of the attendees, it will be their first time visiting and staying overnight on a college campus. The goal is for students to leave the program confident that they can be competitive college applicants.

“We are excited that Virginia Tech was selected to host the next Hispanic College Institute,” said Wanda Hankins Dean, vice provost for enrollment and degree management. “As a land-grant university, our mission is to provide and expand access to higher education. This program is opening up doors for an underrepresented group to see and experience college, and gain some tools and information to make college part of their future.”

The 2015 Hispanic College Institute will be held July 15-18, 2015. Interested students and parents can find information on the upcoming session as well as applications on the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network’s website in February. Professionals who are interested in volunteering for the event can also get additional information on the website in February.

The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network is a non-profit organization, which supports, promotes, and advocates for Latino success and advancement in higher education, to ensure that every Latino in Virginia is college- and career-ready.