Today@Sam Article

SHSU Earns Federal Designation As Hispanic-Serving Institution

July 18, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

SHSU students at ring ceremony Sam Houston State University has achieved official designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), making the university eligible for up to $10 million in additional funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support the enhancement of educational opportunities for students.

“Receiving the Hispanic Serving Institution designation is an important milestone in the history of Sam Houston State University,” said SHSU President Alisa White. “This designation demonstrates our institutional commitment to providing all students access to a quality education and reflects the diversity of our state and the communities we serve.”

HSIs are at the forefront of efforts to increase educational access and success for the nation’s Hispanic population. HSIs represent 16 percent of all higher education institutions, yet serve 65 percent of all Hispanic students. In 1992, Congress formally recognized the designation, opening up access to federal appropriations for these institutions.

As a university committed to promoting a campus culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, SHSU announced plans in Sept. 2021 to begin actively striving to become an HSI.

This federal designation requires an undergraduate student population that is at least 25 percent Hispanic, with at least 38 percent of those students qualifying as low-income. These requirements must be met annually.

“In 2015, our undergrad Hispanic enrollment was at 20.42 percent. In just a short period of time that number shot-up to 25.81 percent in 2020,” said Jeanine Bias, chief diversity officer. “In fact, since fall 2020 SHSU has met all necessary requirements to seek HSI designation.”

Fostering a culturally responsive campus environment, SHSU offers a number of programs to enhance success opportunities for all students. For example, the ELITE (Establishing Leadership In and Through Education) program encourages academic and civic engagement of Black and Hispanic men. The TRIO Student Support Services program serves first-generation students through academic tutoring, course advisement, financial literacy counseling and assistance in applying for graduate and professional programs.

SHSU is ranked nationally among the top 100 colleges and universities for Hispanic students, according to The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.

Sam Houston State joins Lamar State College Port Arthur, Sul Ross University and Texas State University within the Texas State University System with this designation.

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