Dear students, classified professionals, and faculty members;
I hope you are having a wonderful Fall semester. This week, September 11–16, we celebrate National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Week. The designation of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) is indeed an important recognition of your efforts to provide equitable education and support for our students.
This HSI designation allows all three of our colleges to apply for and receive a variety of federal grants, providing us the opportunity to fund valuable resources for our students, such as paid internships, peer mentorship, and specialized academic counseling, among many others. Our colleges are holding a variety of events this week to highlight the resources and services made available to all our students through these grants. These celebrations are a wonderful way to celebrate your work, showcasing your commitment to our students and community.
Being an HSI is more than a label or a source of funding—it is a source of pride and a symbol of our values. The emphasis on cultural experiences, including hiring employees from similar backgrounds, offering culturally centered courses, and expanding support services, is crucial in promoting inclusivity and improving outcomes for all students. It's heartening to see a commitment to acknowledging and celebrating cultural diversity as an integral part of the educational mission.
HSI Week, Latinx Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), and your ongoing efforts throughout the year, demonstrate a dedication to serving our students and their educational aspirations. By putting students first and building on this vision together, you’re making a positive impact on the lives of so many in our community.
Keep up the excellent work in providing comprehensive and quality educational opportunities to our diverse student population. Your dedication is commendable and essential for creating a more equitable and inclusive educational environment.
Dr. Rick MacLennan