As Hispanics Surge Into College, HSIs Are On the Rise

A new statistical portrait of Hispanic-Serving Institutions shows them showing up in unexpected places but still concentrated geographically along the country’s southern border and Puerto Rico.  >> See Chart

Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C-based education advocacy group, reports that HSIs are appearing in states that are thousands of miles from Mexico, such as Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

But HSIs represent only about 10 percent of all institutions of higher education and most are located in states long associated with large Latino populations.

“Over half of all Latino undergraduate students in higher education (54 percent) are enrolled in less than 10 percent of institutions in the United States,” the report says. “This concentration of Latino enrollment in higher education was first recognized by educators and policy makers in the 1980s and contributed to the invention of a new construct, which came to be known as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).”

HSIs now number 293, located in 17 states and Puerto Rico, the Excelencia analysis found.

HSIs were first formally recognized by the federal government in 1994, and defined as colleges with Hispanic enrollments of 25 percent of more. Then, 135 colleges met the criteria.

Today, colleges such as Capital Community College in Hartford, Conn., and Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan., meet the definition of HSI’s, according to Excelencia. Community colleges account for 47 percent, or 137 colleges, of the nation’s HSIs.

Coupled with a new surge of young Hispanics into college, as documented by the Pew Hispanic Center, the growing roster of HSIs underscores a demographic shift now under way in American higher education. While the number of young non-Hispanic whites attending college is on a downward trend, the number of Hispanics going to college is headed in the opposite direction. Read more.

Via Paul Bradley, Community College Week.

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