Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are receiving more public attention than ever as colleges and universities continue to grow. With 55 Texas institutions qualifying for this title, Sam Houston State University is not quite there yet.
Enrollment of Latinx and Hispanic students is on the rise within institutions across the nation. While the majority of HSIs are located near the border, nearby schools like Lone Star College and the University of Houston both qualify.
Mary Petron is the undergraduate program coordinator of the Teach English as a Second Language program as well as the Bilingual/English as Second Language program.
“Hispanic Serving Institutions are either public or private two-year and four-year colleges that have a student body of 25% or more Hispanics,” Petron said. “There is also an additional requirement that 50% of those students must be qualified for federal student loans or grants.”
The title of HSI can be an advantage for university recruiting and funding purposes.
“After meeting HSI requirements, schools must also apply for it in order to be accepted,” Petron said. “Then you can publicize it, which can be very beneficial.”
A major benefit of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution is being eligible to receive specific grants. The U.S. Department of Education provides grant funding to schools and assists in educational opportunities for Hispanic students. They do this by strengthening institutional programs, services and facilities for Hispanics and other students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Despite missing HSI status, SHSU still has many groups geared towards Hispanic student’s success.
SHSU is home to various student organizations like the National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice, Latinx Graduate Student Organization, Bilingual Education Student Organization and The Latinx Club of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. These organizations all cater to Hispanic students.