Community College of Rhode Island President Meghan Hughes today announced that for the first time in its 59-year history, the college has earned designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The designation, certified by Excelencia in Education, acknowledges colleges and universities with a student population that is at least 25% Hispanic.
CCRI is one of only two institutions of higher education in Rhode Island to earn HSI status for the 2021-22 academic year, joining College Unbound.
After many years as an Emerging HSI, CCRI earned HSI designation for the 2021-22 academic year with a 25.1% full-time Hispanic student population. The one-year lag in reporting is due to data collection and verification by the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. The college believes it has also met the threshold for the 2022-23 academic year based on its Fall 2022 enrollment census, which saw a 13% total increase in Hispanic/LatinX students over Fall 2021.
This designation will allow CCRI to apply for HSI-specific, U.S. Department of Education grants to fund training, programs, and infrastructure to support the enhancement of educational opportunities for students such as such as educational materials, academic tutoring and counseling, scholarships, faculty and administrative development, academic instruction, and renovation of instructional facilities.
“More important than meeting the numerical threshold of 25% Hispanic/LatinX student population and the funding opportunities it affords the college, this designation demonstrates our commitment to providing all students access to a quality education and reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. It also speaks to the heart of our values as a community college and is at the core of our mission of being a welcoming and inclusive space for all, regardless of race or ethnicity,” said Hughes in a statement.
According to Excelencia in Education, which has calculated the lists of HSIs for more than 20 years, 571 two- and four-year institutions met the enrollment definition of an HSI. The number of HSIs increased above pre-pandemic levels in 2021-22 after falling for the first time in two decades last year (to 559) due to enrollment declines, institutional closings, and consolidation during the pandemic. HSIs represent 19% of all institutions of higher education and enroll 62% of Hispanic undergraduates. For more information on the 2021-2022 HSIs, please visit the Excelencia in Education HSI website.