Did you know that the second week of September is National Hispanic Serving Institution Week? Hispanic Serving Institutions are institutions that have a full-time equivalent of at least 25% of enrolled Hispanic students. The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities is an organization that began in 1986 with 18 founding member institutions. According to HACU there are 569 colleges and universities that are members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. HACU’s history is important because it predates the US Congress decision to formally recognize schools as HSI’s. HACU is also important because it has paved the way for advocacy efforts that resulted in schools receiving designated funding for having an HSI Status.
If you are already attending an HSI then you know how awesome they are. If you are a high school student applying to colleges or a community college student thinking about which schools to transfer to then you might consider an HSI. Why? Because there are several benefits of attending these institutions.
Benefits of attending an HSI
- Scholarships specifically for HSI students. For instance, companies such as Deloitte, Coca Cola, and Sherwin Williams all have scholarships specifically for undergraduates attending HSI’s
- Internship programs specifically for students of HSI’s.
For example, the HACU National Internship is available to all students who are attending HACU member institutions. Internships are a combination of corporate and government organizations that are interested in hosting interns
- Leadership development programs for HSI students. Events such as the Annual HACU iAdelante! Leadership Institute provide leadership and development for students as they embark on career exploration and job services.
- Alumni Networks. In addition to opportunities for students the HACU affiliation has benefits beyond the time as undergrads. The HACU Alumni Association offers graduates a number of ways to expand their professional networks via leadership opportunities, job networks and an opportunity to connect with other HACU Alums.
- Culturally relevant curriculum which, in tern, deepens the level of engagement of students.
- Specific efforts to recruit Latino Faculty and Staff. HSI’s are known for aiming to reflect the populations of the students they serve which means more diverse faculty and staff. Research has continued to prove that more diverse faculty have benefits for all students.
- Greater emphasis on programs that support student success for Latino students. For example, the University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) School of Engineering is the top producer of Hispanic Engineers with graduate degrees.
If you attend an HSI tell us about your experience! We’d love to feature you in a future article!