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Hispanic Serving by Mario Flores

What is a HSI? AN HSI is a Hispanic Serving Institution ,in which is a institution participating in a federal program designed to assist colleges or universities in the United States that attempt to assist first generation, majority low income Hispanic students. There are over 250 schools that have been designated as an HSI in the United States alone. There are certain qualifications in order for an institution to be considered an HSI and that is to have at least 25% of the student body be Hispanic. In California alone there are 104 universities and colleges that fall under this title. There are many steps in earning this title and as Notre Dame de Namur University is one of the 104 to bear the title of HIS. There are also many benefits that come with an HSI institution being in place. The institution gets more federal grants and funding for just bearing this title.

According to studies theses institutions tend to have a higher retention rate than that of a non HSI institution. Research also states that these universities have a higher percentage rate of graduates who complete their degrees in four year or less. In Southern California there are many institutions that are Hispanic serving which tend to be in the Los Angeles area. There are also many junior colleges that are Hispanic serving, that they focus on getting the Hispanic low income students a chance to make it to a university and be the first generation in their family to earn a college degree. With California being the highest state with Hispanic serving institutions there are some students that are not informed of what their university is actually doing for them to get a better education, the institutions only show that they are Hispanic serving on paper rather than through their actual students.

Citrus College, a community college in southern California is one of the institutions that does not show they have this title through their students but through their paper. Bailey Vena a sophomore at this institution said “I was extremely surprised when I found out that Citrus was Hispanic-serving, the institution does not show how they are helping the Hispanic community better themselves. Myself being a Latina I would like to see this institution progress into showing what a Hispanic serving institution should be doing in order to help students.” This university in fact does offer courses for their first year students in which they help them chose their field of study that they would be most interested in. When asked about Notre Dame de Namur University holding the title of Hispanic serving alumna Nathlie Moutal stated” In my four years at the university I never noticed the title being seen in the school, when in fact there were only two Hispanics in faculty and staff and no offers for the major of Spanish or Latin American studies, the university lacked the actuality of what this title actually means.” In its current year Notre Dame de Namur University only has one Latina professor and two Hispanic directors, yet this institution hold the title of Hispanic Serving.

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