Delegation from Kansas City, Kan., considers FHSU a great fit for students from the metro area

12/01/15 hb/ks
HAYS, Kan. -- A delegation from the Central Avenue Betterment Association visited Fort Hays State University today to explore an educational partnership for college-age residents of Kansas City, Kan.

FHSU administrators and members of the Kansas City delegation agreed to work toward bringing students to the western Kansas campus in Hays.

Better known as CABA, the Central Avenue Betterment Association was founded in 1977 to enhance the quality of life and business investment along the Central Avenue Corridor in Kansas City, Kan. The primary purpose of CABA is to improve the economic development of the Central Avenue area; to improve the business, neighborhood and social image; and to promote small business and neighborhood organizations.

Edgar Galicia, chair of the CABA Board of Directors, talked about a summer program that helps students gain an entrepreneurial experience working directly with professionals who are successful in business. "We encourage them to dream and dream high," he said. "Then we show them the means to make their dreams come true."

Galicia said a partnership with Fort Hays State would help young people from the CABA area accomplish their dreams through education.

Dr. Joey Linn, vice president for student affairs, pledged that Fort Hays State would work with CABA to make the partnership a reality. Linn noted that FHSU's inaugural Hispanic College Institute is set for the summer of 2016. Designed to attract the fastest growing minority in Kansas to Fort Hays State, this four-day, three-night residential program will introduce first-generation Hispanics to a university environment. It will teach them how to navigate the American educational system and how to enroll in and graduate from college.

Hispanic enrollment at Fort Hays State is 876 this semester, which represents an increase of 383 students, or 77.7 percent, over the past five years.

Much of the population within the boundaries of CABA is Hispanic, but Marty Thoennes, executive director of CABA, said the partnership would extend to all the college-age residents that his group serves.

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