Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Initiatives

Programming for ALL Students

At UCSC estamos muy orgullosos! We are so proud to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution as we strive to support and empower our community of undergraduate, transfer, and graduate Latinx/e students, families, faculty, and staff.

For us, being an HSI means:

  • Being intentional and meeting students where they are at 
  • Being race-conscious 
  • Building meaningful relationships with students and their families
  • Developing the talents and potential that students bring; and
  • Honoring students’ strengths and funds of knowledge

The HSI Initiatives supports a range of services and programs catered to improve Latinx/e student retention, graduation, and degree atntainment.

Para ver el video in español, clic aquí.

Watch the informational video below to learn more about HSI:

Open to View Video Transcript

How is UCSC a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI)

Leo: Olivia! How’s it going?

Olivia: Hey Leo! I’m doing well, I’m working on some research for a class project on HSIs. Did you Know UCSC is an HSI?

Leo: An HSI? What is that?

Olivia: A Hispanic Serving Institution or an HSI, is a federal government designation created to benefit institutions that provide education to underrepresented students. It’s the federal government’s way to support institutions that enroll large proportions of Hispanic or Lantix students in addressing education quality management and financial stability.

Leo: Cool! That’s interesting, so what does it mean that UCSC is an HSI?

Olivia: Well, it means that UCSC fulfills two conditions… First, at least 25% of its undergraduate students are Latinx (where the federal government classifies them as Hispanic) And second, we have a high portion of low-income students… Because UCSC meets these two basic requirements the campus can apply for special federal funding to revamp undergraduate and graduate student services, programs, and adapt to how gateway courses are taught to better serve all students.

Leo: Wow, that sounds awesome!

Olivia: And get this, most UC campuses are either HSI or emerging HSIs.

Leo: No way! So other schools can be considered HSIs too? How does each school decide where their grant funding goes?

Olivia: That’s right! And it varies with each school but at UCSC we have a team of dedicated staff and faculty called HSI Initiatives. Their work focuses on creating teaching and learning innovations by redesigning courses such as Calculus or improving advising to help students feel a sense of belonging at UCSC. These initiatives help some of the programs in the Educational Opportunity Programs office exist! Basically, their goal is to help the campus be more effective in supporting low-income, first-generation, and Lantinx students - promoting social justice and mobility for everyone here at UCSC.

Leo: Does this mean that only Latinx students get benefits from UCSC being an HSI?

Olivia: Actually no, the services are not restricted to any group of students. When they improve advising, create internship opportunities, or redesign a key gateway class with Latix students in mind, all UCSC students benefit. This is called structural sustainable change and helps all of us!

Leo: Wow, that sounds awesome!

Olivia: Exactly! The designation of HSI gives UCSC the eligibility to apply for grants through the Department of Education to provide students with better courses, advising, career pathways, and degree attainment.

Leo: Great information. How can I get involved?

Olivia: Stay informed. Visit the UCSC HSI website to learn more. Their office regularly polls students and creates focus groups to help determine students’ needs and perspectives. You can also help spread the word about HSI work and why it matters to all of us. But don't worry I’ll share some links to get you started!

Leo: Thanks Olivia, good luck with your research project!

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