BRYAN, TX — Texas A&M is inching closer to being designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) under the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative by the U.S. Department of Education.
To be designated an HSI, an institution must be eligible and have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25% Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.
”Receiving the designation of a Hispanic serving institution, I think creates visibility for the Hispanic population on this campus,” said Richard Curry, the department head and professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies.
Receiving the designation would supply greater opportunities for funding institutional programs that assist Hispanic Americans.
”It gives the institution access and availability of funding because this is a federal designation,” said Curry.
Gaining the representation for the Hispanic community supports students to reach levels of success with pride in their culture.
”Provide students with confidence as well as the abilities to function well not only here as students but when they graduate,” said Curry.
Students like Carly Baysinger have experienced first hand the endless amount of opportunities this can provide.
”I think that being bilingual, especially Spanish in Texas, it opens up so many doors, and I've traveled to so many Spanish-speaking countries and I’ve just seen the possibilities that it can bring to be bilingual,” said Baysinger, a junior majoring in Spanish and working for the Department of Hispanic Studies.
The department utilizes representation tactics to recruit students in hopes of increasing enrollment.
”One of the things that we do that targets that population is that we have a number of courses that are specifically for, what we refer to as heritage students,” said Curry.
Texas A&M nearly met quota in 2019 at 24.5% and continues to serve the community with growing representation of the Hispanic community.
According to research conducted by the National Minority Serving Institutions Program, Texas holds second place behind California for universities holding the HSI designation.
This year Texas A&M reached a 24.9% total quota for Hispanic enrollment in 2020.