A Message from the President

As seen in the Spring DU Review Magazine

Davenport University has built a solid reputation for being agile, for responding quickly to businesses, social challenges and the needs of a diverse group of students. Our latest response? Casa Latina. Our Casa Latina program is unique in the nation and is designed for students who want to become professionally proficient in Spanish and English. They will be able to excel in a world growing more interconnected by the hour.

The Pew Research Center predicts that Latinos will become nearly 30% of the population in the United States by 2050, nearly 130 million people. Currently, there are more than a half million Latinos in Michigan, yet only 2% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. At Davenport, we are committed to making a college degree more accessible for Latinos. That’s why we just launched Casa Latina. We are enrolling students now, and classes start this fall.

We have the leaders in place to ensure student success. The life journey of our Provost and  Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Gilda Gely has taken her from Puerto Rico to the University of Illinois where she earned a doctorate. The Executive Director of Casa Latina Carlos Sanchez was born in Mexico and earned degrees at Kendall College and Davenport University. Both have brought insider perspectives to the other capable leaders at Davenport who are establishing Casa Latina to support students from the time they apply to the day they graduate.

It has been an ambitious undertaking to launch a dual language program that is completely online and provides scholarships, flexibility and support for students in both languages. Currently, we are offering 12 undergraduate and graduate bilingual degrees in business, technology, healthcare, urban education and the sciences. Casa Latina fits our mission to provide access to a college degree for all capable students. They need a formalized bilingual education, and our society in general, and businesses in particular, need their talent, expertise and ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking clients and employees.

A recent survey of U.S. employers by ACTFL, a group of language educators, found that one in three reported a language skill gap, and one in four had lost business due to the lack of foreign language skills. More than half (56%) believe the demand for bi/multilingual speakers will continue to increase.

We identified a talent gap, and while we are working to close that, we are opening our doors wide. Welcome to Casa Latina. 

Read more about Casa Latina here.


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