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 students and their college experience. In 2022 Cal Poly’s Latinx population was 20.8%, and with 24% of our latest class of admits identifying as Latinx, we are moving ever closer to that goal. Cal poly continues to see a steady growth in Latinx enrollment and in 2022 the enrollment number of students of Color increased by 8.7% with Latinx 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 students, that enacts a culture in which the educational and racial/ethnic experience of Latinx students is enhanced, and cultivates a holistic sense of belonging that empowers Latinx 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 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 college-age population has tripled over last 25 years and the Latinx 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 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.
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 will lead the way in developing recommendations to holistically serve the Latinx community and engage with students, faculty, and staff throughout the year regarding Cal Poly's HSI status. The launch of this effort, brings the expansive and intersectional experiences of the Latinx 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 Latinx Center Grand Opening!
In Fall 2022 La CASA Latinx 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.
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/Latine community.