Dr. Patricia Alvarez McHatton, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will participate in a panel focused on PreK-12 / Higher Education Collaboration, during the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ 31st annual conference at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, CA.

The conference will be Oct. 28-30, and the theme this year is “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Driving America’s Prosperity.”

McHatton’s presentation highlights the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration’s STEP UP program, a collaboration between UTRGV and the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District which provides a year-long clinical experience for pre-service teachers. The program has been selected by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation as part of its Raising Texas Teachers Scholarship Initiative.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain.

HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

“The HACU conference is important for UTRGV, given our standing as a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” McHatton said. “I look forward to the opportunity to meet with other educators focused on the success of Hispanic students.”

UTRGV is part of a national initiative to help increase graduation rates for black and Latino/a college students across the United States, McHatton said, and is heavily involved in collaboration with higher education leaders across the country to improve outcomes for underrepresented students.


The HACU conference will feature more than 50 workshops under six tracks, with several workshops highlighting projects at colleges and universities focused on enhancing the success students, faculty and administrators, as well as the higher education institution itself. The conference provides a unique forum for the sharing of information and ideas for the best and most promising practices in the education of Hispanics.

The sessions also address other issues of importance to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), such as study abroad, STEM, grant writing, federal funding opportunities, and best practices from HSIs, emerging HSIs, Hispanic-Serving School Districts, and institutions and organizations dedicated to serving Hispanic and other minority student populations.

A Student Track is regularly offered at the annual conference as a three-day career development and networking symposium, designed to build the career skills of undergraduate students. More than 400 students attend panel presentations, workshops, luncheons and a town hall meeting, and meet with conference exhibitors and recruiters each year.