ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Ms. Jeanette Morales, Director for PK-12 Initiatives, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Ms. Jeanette Morales
San Antonio, Texas
Director for PK-12 Initiatives
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself, your background and your position.
I currently serve as the Director for PK-12 Initiatives for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and oversee the Hispanic-Serving School Districts’ Affiliation. HSSD was created in fall 2006 to reach out to K-12 education with 25% or more Hispanic enrollment to assist school districts to meet the challenges our Hispanic Serving Institutions faced years ago. As Director, I’m working with school districts to better serve their Hispanic populations and increase the number of Hispanics in post-secondary education. I work with the administrators of HSSDs and Hispanic Serving Institutions to collaborate in various ways that assist Hispanic students with enrolling in college. I also network with corporations and other national organizations to create opportunities for HSSDs through partnerships and resource development.

For the last 22 years, I have worked with first generation students beginning as the Health Program Officer at the Center for Health Policy Development directing their Proyecto Mathematics and Sciences, a Health Careers Opportunity Program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services for Hispanic high school graduates interested in careers in the health sciences. I later held the position of Assistant Director at the University of Texas at San Antonio for their Upward Bound Math & Science program, a TRiO funded program for first generation and/or low-income high school students. High School students from South Texas attended classes at UTSA during the summer to improve their academic skills while learning about careers in math and science.

I later joined Communities In Schools of San Antonio as a Pre-College Advisor with their TRiO programs, Upward Bound and Talent Search. I worked with rural communities, specifically students from grades 7 through 12, in developing the skills necessary for their post-secondary success. I also helped these students navigate their way through the college admission and financial aid processes by developing a grade specific curriculum implemented throughout the school year.

I was born and raised in San Antonio, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I was recently admitted to the Doctoral program in Educational Leadership Higher Education Administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Q: How did you become involved with the Army?
In 2009, The U.S. Army approached the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities for a way to diversify their ROTC programs; to increase knowledge and awareness of ROTC programs with high school students. Since then, HACU has implemented the HACU/U.S. Army University Tours; 1 to 2 tours per fiscal year, on a HACU member institution.

Q: What were you surprised to learn about the Army through your involvement?
The variety of careers available during and after their military service. The general perception is combat but the Army needs personnel in fashion design to culinary arts to information technology. The skills learned during military service makes each Soldier a valuable asset in the employment market after their service.

Q: How has your partnership with the Army made a difference to your organization?

Through our partnership and the tours that are a result, we have impacted over 7,500 high school first generation minority students. With the knowledge gained through these tours, our students have become empowered to navigate through college admissions.


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