CWS is the National Hispanic Institute (NHI) capstone experience for high school juniors preparing for their senior year. Created 30 years ago, it aims to provide future leaders with as much insight and practice as possible to prepare for the transition to adulthood, with an emphasis on both college readiness and leadership development.
Getting coached for success in the college admissions process is only one part of making decisions about your future; making a final institutional selection based on your life goals and values requires a different lens. The CWS addresses the emotional and psychological factors that impact life plans by providing a process for decision-making called Inquiry-Based Learning. Using this process, students team up to take on complex challenges and use inquiry-based processes to offer strategic plans for their future goals. CWS graduates are considered high-potential candidates for future faculty roles with NHI, as they are students of the inquiry process used by NHI leaders to evolve new program experiences, ideas, and concepts in community social entrepreneurship.
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Melissa Cantu, a participant from La Joya High School in the Rio Grande Valley, and one of the Hall of Famers, noted, “The fundamentals this institute teaches to its members are values I strive to live by. I had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends from previous events as well as make new friendships and build my network.” “CWS helped me learn what kind of person I wanted to be walking into this next chapter of my life,” she added. “I am forever grateful for the personal one-on-one interactions I had with college admissions officers and my senior mentors. Thanks to them, in the span of five days, I learned more about degrees, scholarships, and college applications than I had my entire junior year in high school.”
"We are proud to again partner with the National Hispanic Institute for the Collegiate World Series," said Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese, Saint Leo University president. "NHI holds the same values as Saint Leo University—both instill the drive for excellence and encourage respect for all. Saint Leo welcomes learners of all backgrounds. We are excited to welcome these young people to our campus and help them learn about college life and all that it offers."
Cotto (National Hispanic Institute senior vice president) notes that CWS is where leadership actually becomes more realized for students, with NHI’s highest level of leadership ideas featured in the program....CWS is where you get to expose yourself to a process of thinking, [asking] ‘How do I now take these ideas in this vision and put them into action?’ And whether it’s ‘this is the right school for me’ or ‘this is the environment I need to be in for four years’ or maybe ‘this is the path I need to take for my education beyond my major.’
These students undergo a competitive series of activities all pertaining to the college application process. Each student gains points for their resume, college essay, interview, etc. Points are tallied and one university, made up of CWS participants, is deemed the Champion of the Collegiate World Series. In part two of the CWS, students are immersed in IBL (immersive based learning) through a question based approach to analyze and reflect on their goals and decisions they will soon be making that will shape their futures.