Hispanic Serving Institution

Otero College is one of fourteen designated Hispanic Serving Institutions in the state of Colorado.

What is an HSI?

A Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is a designation given to colleges and universities in the United States that have a significant enrollment of Hispanic students. The U.S. Department of Education defines an HSI as an institution of higher education where at least 25% of the full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate students identify as Hispanic.

HSIs play a crucial role in providing educational opportunities and support for Hispanic students, who have historically faced barriers to access and success in higher education. These institutions aim to address the unique needs of Hispanic students by offering culturally responsive programs, services, and resources.

To be recognized as an HSI, an institution must meet certain criteria in addition to the percentage of Hispanic enrollment. The institution must be eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs and offer degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate level. HSIs also commit to improving educational outcomes for Hispanic students, including retention rates, graduation rates, and academic achievement.

Benefits of being a designated HSI

The designation of an HSI can bring several benefits to the institution, such as eligibility for federal grants and funding specifically designated for HSIs. This additional financial support can be used to develop and expand programs, scholarships, research opportunities, and student support services that benefit the student population.

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