Report: Hispanic-serving institutions prepare students for life after college
- Latino graduates of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) are more likely than college students nationally to be satisfied with their professional, personal and social lives over the long term, according to a new report from Gallup and the nonprofit Excelencia in Education, which advocates for Latino student achievement. This is likely due to HSIs having a more inclusive environment and support systems.
- The report is based on surveys of 14,320 bachelor's degree recipients from 2000 to 2017 at 12 HSIs in Excelencia's network, including Northeastern Illinois University, California State University, Sacramento, and Texas Woman's University. Respondents were more likely than college graduates nationally to say they had an ideal job and do work that interests them.
- The report identified areas for improvement by HSIs, including adding more high-impact experiential learning opportunities and making career services offices easier to access.
The Excelencia/Gallup report notes that the population of college-going Hispanic students is growing, and HSIs serve a significant portion of that group. During the 2016-17 academic year, HSIs accounted for 15% of higher education institutions in the U.S. but enrolled 65% of Latino undergraduates, the report found.
The University of California, Merced — a designated HSI — has garnered attention recently for its efforts to draw Latino students, who comprise about 53% of its undergraduate student body. The New York Times notes that the University of California system has struggled to attract members of the largest ethnic group in the state. Merced, which opened in 2005, has paid more attention to the creation of programs and services that directly cater to Latino students, including parent workshops conducted in Spanish during freshman orientation and cultural celebrations and performances.
Chicago-based nonprofit Instituto del Progreso Latino offers another example of how to turn the focus from enrollment to student success. It recently opened a private two-year college, Instituto College, specifically for Latino immigrants interested in pursuing a career in nursing.
Inside Higher Ed reported that the first class of about 24 students is enrolled in an Instituto College pilot program that builds on existing career training for entry-level health careers. The college hopes to add five more topic areas, including organizational leadership, networking technology and manufacturing management.
However, it is not yet accredited, meaning students are not eligible to apply for federal grants and loans. JPMorgan Chase has a long-standing relationship with the nonprofit and invested $500,000 into the college.