The Title V project actively strives to transform our university into a culturally responsive HSI uniquely suited to the needs of students needing and seeking personalized support during their college career.
Strategies being implemented include: creation of a new division of the University under a Dean of Student Success, centralization and strengthening of vital support services such as advising and learning support, retention interventions ranging from college readiness and outreach to new methods to improve success rates in barrier gateway courses, learning and living communities, faculty development, and integration of emerging technologies and tools across the curriculum.
Excelencia in Education ¹ published a study on "Emerging HSIs" (Santiago & Andrade 2010)² which SU leadership, constituencies, and Title V project planners studied along with other reports which have served as touchstones as we plan to embrace our new institutional role as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
From the resources above, the following foundational concepts assist as planning guides:
“It is important to make a distinction between enrolling and serving Latino students in policy discussions about student success...enrolling and serving are not equivalent.
Enrollment is a prerequisite for serving students, just as serving students is a prerequisite for success (defined as degree completion). Enrollment is about access, while serving students is about retention and completion. “
“At effective emerging HSIs, there was broad ownership of student success at all levels. Institutional efforts that engaged faculty, students, and administrators and often alumni around a common vision of serving students yielded the most success and long-term investment by those involved.”
Even more pointedly, in Excelencia in Education’s “Campus Practices that work for Latino Students" (Santiago 2008), the argument is made that the HSI designation fundamentally assumes that “a critical mass of students (25% or more) triggers an organizational change of the institution. Fully cognizant of the regional importance of its emerging role as an HSI, the leadership at Schreiner University has planned carefully to maximize the long-term impact of the Title V project and use these funds to leverage a transformation of the University into a culturally responsive HSI.
¹ http://edexcelencia.org. A research-based organization committed to meeting mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education.
² Examination of practices at Loyola Marymount Univ (CA); Palm Beach Community College (FL);Texas State University-San Marcos; and Metropolitan State College of Denver (CO).