Davenport University launches groundbreaking bilingual degrees program

Leaders at Davenport University announced a groundbreaking initiative that leads to bilingual degrees with professional proficiency in English and Spanish. Casa Latina at Davenport has a unique approach by offering courses with one week fully in Spanish and the next week fully in English. Graduates of this program at Davenport will enhance the pool of bilingual talent for businesses, while offering a solid path to careers in business, technology, healthcare, urban education and the sciences.

Casa Latina, which is the only program of its kind in the nation, represents a new era in higher education with 12 undergraduate and graduate degrees tailored to students who will not only become experts in their fields, but will join the workforce ready to lead in a bilingual world. Degree programs include accounting, business administration, education, human resource management, health services administration and technology project management. Students can apply now for courses beginning fall 2024.

The Casa Latina program is fully online, giving students the flexibility they need to begin and finish their degrees. The program will be available worldwide, and Davenport will consider work experience and education credits, reducing the time it takes to earn a degree. Scholarships are available for full-time students: $9,200 for undergraduates and $5,000 for graduate students. Students attending part-time will be awarded a prorated amount.

Davenport University saw the need for this bilingual program after studying the needs of employers across the country. Carlos Sanchez, the executive director of Casa Latina, believes the uniqueness of this program will appeal to the Latino community by offering key bachelor and master degrees along with wrap-around support for students. Davenport’s Casa Latina program offers bilingual and bicultural student support in admissions, financial aid, counseling, tutoring and library services.

“Davenport is taking an innovative, bold approach with Casa Latina,” Sanchez said. “We are creating this bilingual program that will provide an opportunity for Latino students to overcome so many challenges. We are taking barriers down related to language, finances and geography.  We have virtual bilingual tutoring, and we have staff dedicated to advising our Casa Latina students. We are creating a community at Davenport that will embrace and guide students as they pursue their degrees.”

The energy for Casa Latina comes right from the top. President Richard J. Pappas and Executive Vice President of Academics and Provost Gilda Gely know Casa Latina will serve students and employers, while aligning with Davenport’s commitment to reach underserved populations in higher education. Despite being the fastest growing population in the country, Latinos are the least represented in higher education. In the U.S., only 18% of adults over the age of 25 who identify as Hispanic or Latino have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That’s compared to 37% of white/non-Hispanics. Pappas said Davenport is focused on closing this gap.

“We have taken direction from people within the Latino community to understand the needs and challenges they have to continue their education,” Pappas said. “We are absolutely committed to creating an environment with all the tools necessary for bilingual students to graduate ready to work and lead in bilingual environments.”

Gely has been instrumental in the development of Casa Latina and believes it is the right program to give bilingual speakers the opportunity to become confident in their ability to succeed in college and in the workplace.

“At Davenport, we have taken the position that Latino students do not have to fit into our mold, but rather we will meet them where they are and support them as they realize their potential,” Gely said. “We have been working toward launching this bilingual program with their success at the forefront of its development. This is truly an exciting moment and opportunity.”

The philanthropic community has so far contributed $2.7 million to Casa Latina at Davenport University. Foundations and donors giving to Casa Latina include:

  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

  • M.E. Davenport Foundation

  • Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation

  • Frey Foundation

  • Steelcase Foundation

  • Steve and Tana Wessell

Those interested in supporting Casa Latina, can find out more here. Casa Latina has an advisory board to ensure integration into the community with opportunities for networking and internships. Davenport offers career services support throughout a graduate’s lifetime.

For more information about Casa Latina at Davenport University, visit https://www.davenport.edu/casa-latina.


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