Working with Google, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has selected UCF as a preferred partner for its new Hispanic-Serving Institutions Career Readiness Program. The initiative seeks to grow an excelling workforce by assisting college students at Hispanic Serving Institutions in developing the digital skills they need to find and secure internships and jobs that will help them build successful careers.

“This exciting partnership with Google and HACU is an excellent example of how we can be both intentional about serving our Hispanic/Latina/o/x students and inclusive in offering these resources to students of all backgrounds,” says Cyndia Muñiz ’13EdD, director of HSI Culture and Partnerships at UCF. “It is gratifying to see our corporate partners lean into and invest in the massive potential that exists at HSIs.”

To support the program, Google has invested $2 million to help HACU and selected HSIs work together to train 200,000 students on digital skills by 2025. UCF is receiving $25,000 in initial assistance to support the initiate through Career Services, which aims to train up to 700 students/recent alums a semester. If the program proves to be successful at UCF, the university will receive an additional $25,000 grant to continue the effort.

The program is part of the tech giant’s Grow with Google initiative, which has helped more than 5 million Americans enhance their business and career growth. Students will learn how to use Google Workspace’s cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products.

The program provides opportunities to grow their skills through an online module that includes, lessons, exercises and quizzes. They will also be provided a series of curated content including career development opportunities, professional brand training and digital skills workshops. Recent alumni can also access help to prepare for their next internship or land their next job.

“We’re very pleased to be included in this program as it provides another resource available to our students and alumni that helps them prepare for and be marketable in the workforce,” says Lynn Hansen, executive director of Career Services.

Earlier this month, UCF joined the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, which aims to double the number of Hispanic doctoral students and increase the number of Hispanic faculty at member institutions by 20%. UCF is one of nine members of the alliance to also have earned the Seal of Excelenica, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education — which the university earned last year.

In 2021, Hispanic Outlook magazine ranked UCF among the top schools for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students, as well as across several disciplines and for overall enrollment. In Fall 2021, more than 19,600 students at UCF identified as Hispanic or Latina/o/x, accounting for about 28% of the student body.