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Why HSI

Five things you should probably know about MSU Denver’s goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution by 2018.

October 3, 2016

By Dan Vaccaro

By now you’ve probably heard about MSU Denver’s goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution – an HSI, for the acronym lovers among us. You may even recall that in order to qualify for this federal designation, the University’s Latino undergraduate, full-time equivalent enrollment needs to clock in at 25 percent or higher.

Here are five more things you might want to know about our road to becoming an HSI:

1. You have to start somewhere

The HSI initiative launched in 2007 with a task force that identified strategies to increase Latino FTE enrollment and support the same students’ success through graduation. In the last nine years, Latino FTE enrollment has risen steadily from a starting point of 12.5 percent to 22.6 percent as of fall 2016. If you add ASSET students that number jumps to 24.1 percent. In other words, we’re getting there.

2. Won’t you be my neighbor

About one-third of the people living in the Denver metro area come from Latino backgrounds. In the eight counties that most of our students call home, there are an estimated 200,000 students in the Pre-K-12 pipeline who identify as Latino. And those numbers are likely to grow! Becoming an HSI sends a clear message that MSU Denver is ready to meet the educational needs of the people in its community.

3. Coffee is for closers

President Jordan brought together a new HSI task force in 2015 to take the University “over the finish line.” The group was charged with studying the existing landscape, identifying programs and services that supported enrolled Latino students, and recommending specific strategies to increase enrollment. Findings were compiled in a report called Connecting the Dots, which included 21 recommendations for reaching the goal, all of which are being implemented today.

4. Everybody wins

When MSU Denver becomes an HSI, every student will benefit. That’s because the designation allows the University to compete for exclusive grants and programs that will increase our capacity to serve all students.

5. Let’s keep in touch

The latest updates on our progress will be posted in The Daily and on the HSI webpage. The University also plans to create a social media campaign around the hashtag #WhyHSI that will feature news, student testimonials, photos and more. Stay tuned!

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