Publication Date

2001

Abstract

The demographic composition of the United States is rapidly changing, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that in the next ten years, minorities (Asians, Hispanics, American Indians, Blacks) will make the largest gains. By 2005, Hispanics will make up nearly 13% of the U.S. population - more than African-Americans. This change challenges educational, federal, and corporate institutions to examine their communities and make efforts to ensure that all are represented. Organizations like the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are assisting the federal government in identifying young Hispanic talent through an internship program. For each internship session, HNIP conducts an orientation program for the incoming interns. Since its inception in 1992, the HNIP staff and orientation program have undergone many changes. In Spring 2000, the new executive director and staff designed and implemented a "new and improved" orientation program. This research paper assesses the effectiveness of the "new and improved" orientation program by reviewing evaluations completed by the interns, both at the time of the orientation and at the internship's conclusion. Overall, the data indicates that the orientation program was a success. However, the data shows that many interns faced difficult situations during the internship that orientation did not address. The practical relevance of the paper is predominantly for the staff of the HACU National Internship Program and the administration of other short-term internship programs that work with minority populations.

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