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Hispanic Heritage Month starts tomorrow. Photo credit: Canva.

White House recognizes National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week

HSI week is being celebrated shortly before the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are colleges or universities where Hispanic students represent at least 25% of the full-time equivalent student body, according to the U.S. Department of Education. HSIs can be public or private nonprofit institutions, but they must be certified as such by the Department of Education. 

Committed to promoting Latino success stories in higher education, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was founded in 1986. Today, it represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, and Spain, as well as school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is also the only national association representing existing and emerging HSIs.

On September 9, the White House designated September 12-18, 2022, as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week — happening during the start of Hispanic Heritage Month being celebrated Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

Considering the history, Congress first formally recognized campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs in 1992, but the institutions only received initial federal appropriations in 1995. 

On a proclamation stated by President Joe Biden, he said Hispanic students represent almost 20% of college undergraduates in the country and that ensuring this community is prepared to take on challenges in the future is critical for the U.S. 

According to Gina Garcia, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh and researcher on HSIs, 18% of colleges and universities today are HSIs — and predictions indicate they can represent ⅓ of institutions in the future. Al Día News interviewed Garcia about her perspective of HSIs and the article will be shared in the upcoming weeks. 

To read more about HSIs week, click here.

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