A Hispanic-serving institution, or HSI, is a term used for a Federal program designed to assist colleges or universities in the United States that attempt to assist first generation, majority low income Hispanic students. There are over 250 schools that have been designated as an HSI.
- Cannot be a for-profit University.
- Must offer at least two-year academic programs that lead to a degree.
- Must be accredited by an agency or association recognized by the Department of Education.
- Must have high enrollment of needy students
- Have at least a 25% Hispanic undergraduate full-time-equivalent student enrollment
The Department of Education offers large grants to institutions defined as HSI which can be used for many academic purposes serving all ethnicities at the institution including faculty development, funds and administrative management, development and improvement of academic programs, endowment funds, curriculum development, scientific or laboratory equipment for teaching, renovation of instructional facilities, joint use of facilities, academic tutoring, counseling programs and student support services.
In 1992, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses. Today, HACU represents nearly 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Although HACU member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 10% of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they enroll more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
Any institution in the United States can be labeled an HSI, and can benefit from the assistance to increase the amount of Hispanic students in higher education, and most importantly, the amount of Hispanic students graduating from a higher education institution. To be considered an HSI, universities have to meet certain criteria. 2-and 4-year colleges and universities had to have at least a 25% Hispanic enrollment total. This percentage was the minimum required by the Higher Education Act in 1992 (Laden, 2001). Because HSI’s goals are to serve primarily Hispanic populations, they are found in metropolitan areas with increasing Hispanic populations. Some of these areas include Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Miami (Laden, 2001). Vigil discusses the increasing rates of Hispanics in these areas due to the demand of unskilled temporary labor and for seemingly attainable housing opportunities. Although HSI's help Hispanic students in higher education, "HSI's do not have a declared, specific mission to serve Hispanics" (Laden, 2001).
- Historically black colleges and universities
- California State University, Dominguez Hills
- California State University, Fullerton
- California State University, Los Angeles
- Colegio Cesar Chavez
- Miami Dade College
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- University of Texas at El Paso
- University of Texas at San Antonio
- University of Texas–Pan American
- University of Houston-Downtown
- University of New Mexico
- New Mexico State University
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