Celebrating National HSI Week

As we mark National Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Week (September 17-23, 2018), we want to reflect on the important work of HSIs and provide an update on our progress in serving underrepresented Latinx students over the last year.

The HSI designation indicates that an institution enrolls at least 25 percent Latinx full-time equivalent enrollment as well as meet certain student need requirements. Cal Lutheran met these thresholds in 2013 and was able to receive designation in 2016.

As of fall 2018, Cal Lutheran’s undergraduate Latinx student population is over 32 percent, closer to California’s 39 percent Latinx population. Additionally, we have increased diversity within our faculty. The percent of faculty of color on our campus has reached 22 percent. 

In 2016, we qualified for and were awarded a Title III STEM and Articulation grant totaling $4.63 million in support of our ALLIES in STEM project.  We also received a HSI STEM Title III grant in collaboration with Oxnard College totaling $1.5 million. Both grants support all students through resources and services intended to increase success in STEM-related majors and courses.

of our undergraduate student population is Latinx as of fall 2018

In addition to the HSI grants that Cal Lutheran has been awarded, we have improved community outreach and programming. For example, campus tours are now offered in Spanish, several pages of the Cal Lutheran website are available in Spanish, and New Student Orientation added programming specifically for students who are the first in their families to attend college. Over the summer, 37 students participated in our second ALLIES in STEM Academy, interacting with faculty and staff and, most importantly, making Cal Lutheran their home.

Cal Lutheran will continue to build upon these initiatives by living into our HSI identity and developing the programs and practices that are fundamental to global leadership. 

At Cal Lutheran, we are fortunate to be among nearly 500 Hispanic-Serving Institutions that enroll 64 percent of all Latinx undergraduates, making remarkable strides towards improving educational outcomes and opportunities for underrepresented student populations.  We are also fortunate to be part of an institution that has affirmed its mission to serve ALL students during a time when ideals such as fairness, equity, and diversity are consistently being threatened.

We look forward with excitement to another year of growth and to our development as leaders in the HSI community.

Paloma Vargas

Paloma Vargas
Director, Hispanic-Serving Institute Initiatives and Assistant Professor, Biology