Becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution
For Cal Poly, a predominantly white institution (PWI), becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is a critical step in its effort to be a premier polytechnic institution. Cal Poly strives to be a university that enhances student success by creating a culturally rich environment of diversity and inclusion, academic excellence, and social responsibility.
The HSI designation is given to colleges and universities that have a Hispanic/Latinx/Latine enrollment of at least 25%. This designation brings with it additional funding opportunities that can be used to holistically support Latinx/e students and their college experience. In 2022 Cal Poly’s Latinx/e population was 21.1%, and with 24% of our latest class of admits identifying as Latinx/e, we are moving ever closer to that goal. Cal poly continues to see a steady growth in Latinx/e enrollment and in 2022 the enrollment number of students of Color increased by 8.7% with Latinx/e enrollment leading the way.
At Cal Poly Becoming an HSI is More Than Just Meeting a Numerical Quota -
it is about being an institution that equitably yields, retains, and graduates Latinx/e students, that enacts a culture in which the educational and racial/ethnic experience of Latinx/e students is enhanced, and cultivates a holistic sense of belonging that empowers Latinx/e students to fulfill their unlimited potential. In doing so, Cal Poly will transform its campus to be an institution that uplifts all students and prepares them for the global workforce rooted in the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ultimately, HSI-designated universities serve more than just Latinx/e students. Nationwide, 22% of all African American students enrolled in postsecondary institutions attend an HSI. The same is true for 29% of all Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 20% of all Native American higher education students, and 40% of all Asian American students (Excelencia in Higher Ed 2020 Report). Moreover, the Latinx/e college-age population has tripled over last 25 years and the Latinx/e population in the United States was the ethnic/racial group with the largest demographic growth in the country (census.gov). In California, 48% of all higher education institutions meet HSI designation. This means that 88% of all Latinx/e students in higher ed in the state of California are enrolled at an HSI. Based on Cal Poly’s current trajectory, HSI status is likely to be attained within the next few years.
Inaugural Cal Poly HSI Symposium:
October 17, 2023
Join the Office of University Diversity & Inclusion for an immersive day exploring the profound journey towards becoming an HSI and the integral role it plays in Cal Poly's mission. The symposium will include an overview on the pathway to becoming an HSI, workshops, lunch and a resource fair and will close with a keynote from celebrated Latina labor leader, activist and community organizer, Dolores Huerta.
HSI Task Force
The establishment of a Hispanic-Serving Institution Task Force in 2022 was a critical step towards the university's goal of becoming a designated HSI. The Task Force has developed recommendations that outline what becoming an HSI means for Cal Poly. View the full recommendation document here! The launch of this effort, brings the expansive and intersectional experiences of the Latinx/e community to the forefront of the university's mission.
Dr. Gina Garcia Visits Cal Poly
On September 29th, 2022 Dr. Gina Ann Garcia visited Cal Poly, helping students, faculty, staff and administrators understand how to serve an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse undergraduate population.
She hosted a strategic workshop with the TF on what it means to become an HSI. Borrow a copy of her book from the OUDI office or library and look for opportunities to join a book circle this year!
La CASA Latine/x Center Grand Opening!
In Fall 2022 La CASA Latine/x center opened, marking the newest addition to Student Diversity and Belonging, a collective of campus resource centers within Student Affairs that aim to provide a home away from home for underrepresented students at Cal Poly. This space provides students with opportunities to invest in identity development, to reconnect with their cultural heritage, and to feel a sense of pride in the Cal Poly community.
Dr. Gina Garcia Transformation in Practice
The Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Task Force invites the campus community to get an inside look at its recommendations and listen to Gina Garcia, a leading scholar on HSIs, from 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16. Garcia will describe what “servingness” in practice can look like at Cal Poly. Garcia, associate professor in the department of Educational Foundations, Organizations and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, will cover the “structures for serving” and give examples of how HSIs are transforming their campuses. She will also provide examples of how HSIs can assess the extent to which they are serving Latinx/e students. Garcia challenges audience members to think about servingness as a multidimensional concept that can be addressed in unique ways by each college and university.
HSI Task Force Engagement Opportunities!
The HSI Task Force engagement opportunities aim to expand curricular and co-curricular opportunities for the campus community to engage in experiences that reflect what being a Hispanic Serving Institution should look, sound, and feel like. Engagement opportunities tap into the cultural, social, academic, and arts of the Latinx/e community.