The University of Houston is adding a new degree program focused on the experience of the Latino community

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – If you are planning to enter the University of Houston in Spring 2023, there will be a brand new major to consider.

The university offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mexican-American and Latino/Latina Applied Studies.

The program focuses on the experiences and contributions of the Latino community.

The school’s systems committee unanimously approved the program during a Feb. 24 meeting.

dr Jeronimo Cortina, an associate professor at UH, says there is strong demand for a bilingual workforce in the United States, which has doubled in the past five years.

“I’m very excited,” said Cortina. “When we first started designing this degree, it wasn’t the traditional way academics decide what’s best.”

“We went out and asked people in the community, people in the business world and said, ‘What kind of student would be most successful for your company?’ They gave us those qualities that we later adopted and designed the curriculum.”

dr Cortina said the high demand includes the need for low- and high-skilled positions, particularly in Texas.

The university said demand for bilingual and multicultural employees is solid in industries whose business model includes above-average human interaction.

dr Cortina says his team recognized that demand. The Houston area has the largest Hispanic/Latino community in Texas and the third largest in the country.

The university says that 88% of the students polled overwhelmingly agreed that UH should offer a major in Mexican-American and Latino/Latina Applied Studies.

“The response was very high in terms of acceptance and implementation. Now the hard work begins with the implementation,” said Cortina.

The University of Houston is the largest research university and the second most ethnically diverse in the world.

dr Cortina says the logic behind this new degree began when he and his team saw a need in the job market.

dr Cortina says the hope is that the degree will prepare graduates for the business world.

“The way we designed the curriculum is that they learn naturally but also become creative thinkers to become critical thinkers and use the tools that we provide at the University of Houston to help them applied in the real world of the job market, said Dr. Cortina.

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Dais Johnston

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