Education, for many Latinos in the U.S. is part of the American dream. This American dream has become closer for many with the growth of Hispanic –Servicing Institutions (HSI) which found the highest jump when it grew from 311 institutions, in 2010-2011, to 356 ,in 2011-2012.
Not only are the enrollment numbers in these institutions high with Hispanics enrolled representing 54% of the Latino undergraduates, but these colleges represent 11% of all higher-education institutions across our nations. Given that Latinos are a fast growing population and most Latinos seek educational attainment and growth, we must focus our attention on the institutions serving our Latino population. This includes having more representatives in all discipline fields that also teach and mentor these ever growing minds.
“HSIs” according to Deborah Santiago, Vice President of Policy and co-founder of Excelencia in Education, “are defined by their numbers of Hispanic enrollment- not by the manner in which they serve the Latino community”. It is crucial not only to continue to serve the Latino community in terms of education but to consider the cultural distinction that makes Latinos unique as a culture and ethnicity. Allowing for Latinos to learn, grow, mentor, and be mentored in an environment rich with culture and hermandad allows for continued growth within our community. The roles of these HSIs will become crucial not only for this generation but for future generations. The role models and leaders generated from these institutions should be able to not only inspire, but continue the mentoring for future generations; they should continue to emulate the driving force that our parents and grandparents so fervently wanted for us.
As a Latina doctoral level professional, with buy xanax online no prescription degrees under my belt and 18 plus years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, education is no stranger to me. However, the role model of the Latino professor is underrepresented. For these institutions to continue to focus on generating our future leaders and educators is pivotal for the Latino learner. Right now, HSIs are found only within 17 states and primarily in California, New Mexico, Texas and Puerto Rico. Applying these cultural considerations across to our college bound students, young and older alike helps to cement the importance of maintaining not only our cultural identity but also the rise of the Latino professional and ultimately our Latino leaders. To this I say, “Si Se Puede”!