The Washington Post Recognizes SBVC for Hispanic Enrollment

Hundreds of colleges and universities have capitalized on demographic trends in the new century to establish a burgeoning sector of higher education known as Hispanic-serving institutions. That’s what the federal government calls schools where at least a quarter of undergraduates are Hispanic. There were 229 of these schools, or HSIs, in 2000, according to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. By fall 2016, the total had more than doubled, to 492. It is projected to grow further.

Data from the association show that many Hispanic students gravitate to colleges near home. Sixty-three of the HSIs are in the predominantly Hispanic commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Of the rest, 211 are public two-year colleges and dozens more are regional public universities in California, Texas and other states with significant Hispanic populations. At California State University at Los Angeles, the Hispanic share of undergraduate enrollment was 64 percent. At the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, it was 91 percent. 

Antonio Flores, president and chief executive of the association, said regional colleges are responding to the surge of Hispanic students in elementary and secondary schools. Some universities, he said, have become particularly skilled at partnerships with K-12 school systems and community colleges. 

He cited California State University at San Bernardino, which works closely with San Bernardino Valley College. At both schools, the Hispanic share of students exceeds 60 percent. The teamwork, Flores said, “has paid off, big time.” 

For the most part, Hispanic enrollment growth has been slower at more competitive and prestigious schools. Several campuses of the University of California are an exception. However, other nationally ranked schools in recent years have become what experts call “emerging HSIs” -- meaning that their Hispanic share is at least 15 percent but less than 25 percent of undergraduate enrollment. 

These trends are seen in all parts of the country. “It affects institutions everywhere,” said Deborah A. Santiago, chief executive of the nonprofit advocacy group Excelencia in Education. In the last several years, she said, many schools have embraced what it means to be an HSI or emerging HSI. Now, she said, the challenge is to get more Hispanic students to finish a degree.

“If you don’t enroll them, you can’t graduate them,” she said. “But it’s not sufficient to enroll them.” 
Article from The Washington Post