Rutgers GSE CMSI

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions Releases Report on R1 Hispanic Serving Institutions!

Contact: Brandy Jones
Telephone: 848-932-0788

New Brunswick, N.J., December 2, 2020-- The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce the release of a new report that examines Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and explores the potential for growth and opportunity for R1 HSIs across the United States. 

The report entitled, “An Overview of R1 Hispanic Serving Institutions: Potential for Growth and Opportunity,” offers an examination of R1 HSIs and their efforts to increase Latinx student representation and support Latinx student success on their respective campuses.

Nichole Garcia, an Assistant Professor of Higher Education & College Student Affairs at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education and co-author of the report states, “As more R1’s become HSIs, we are interested in how these institutions are preparing the next generation of Latinx undergraduate researchers on the pathway to the doctorate. We must consider what R1 HSIs can learn from the HSI community college sector that has long served the Latinx student population. How might an increase in partnerships between these institutions not only cultivate a transfer pathway, but also exposure to research experiences in preparation for graduate education?”

The report emphasizes that several R1 HSIs have already been adopting various measures to ensure their students’ success. This includes Florida International University’s launch of the Gateway Project aimed to help students make the transition to college through “peer mentoring and customized education plans,” and the University of Texas at Arlington creating the I.D.E.A.S. Center, which “serves as a hub to improve undergraduate persistence and graduation rates of sophomores, transfer students, low-income students, Hispanic students, and first-generation students.”

“If we put our students and their wellbeing first, especially those that have been historically underrepresented, we will start to see incredible, tangible results,” noted Marybeth Gasman, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair & Distinguished Professor and Executive Director, Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions.  

Co-author Andrew Martinez, who is a College Success Manager at KIPP NYC and a CMSI Research Associate explains that “though the number of HSIs continues to grow, it is important to note that they are least represented among research-intensive institutions.” He emphasizes that “due to population growth in key states like Florida, Texas, and California, it is no surprise that the state public research institutions are increasingly becoming HSIs. But what are they doing with this designation? We thought it was important to look into how these institutions are retaining their Latinx students and hope to inspire stakeholders at these institutions to think about what they want their institution's legacy as an HSI to be.”

Authors conclude with recommendations for research and practice, which stem from fundamental questions that institutions should consider. These questions include: “Are we an HSI by choice or circumstance?” and “How are you enhancing the collegiate experience for Latinx students?” 

Martinez and Garcia highlight that the efforts presented throughout the report have the potential to change the landscape of HSIs for the better. Martinez and Garcia challenge institutions that are on the cusp of becoming federally designated HSIs to “grapple with how this designation can challenge the institutions to do more and be better for Latinx students on their campuses.” Institutions should learn from each other to “ensure that their endeavors to serve Latinx students go beyond numeric growth and extend to better experiences and opportunities for their students.” 

The report is available for download here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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