The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is recognizing and celebrating National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week, Sept. 11-17, which coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We are proud to have all 10 of our colleges designated as HSIs,” said MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “We join an elite group of colleges and universities nationwide with this recognition that have made it their mission to break down barriers so that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to pursue higher education.”
According to the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, in 2021-22, Arizona had 21 accredited and degree-granting higher education institutions that received the U.S. Department of Education HSI designation. This nationwide recognition highlights colleges and universities with 25% or more of the total undergraduate enrollment of hispanic and latino/a/x students. Furthermore, five Arizona institutions are considered Emerging HSIs.
As college enrollment of the latino/a/x student population continues to grow, the HSI designation opens doors for MCCCD to apply for and receive additional federal funding to support the academic needs of students from traditionally underserved communities. As stated by Excelencia in Education, Arizona has the fifth-largest latino population in the country. It reports that 24% of latino adults (25 years or over) had earned an associate degree or higher. Based on MCCCD’s enrollment data for spring 2023, 38% of its student population identified as hispanic.
Generous funding provided from the Helios Education Foundation empowers Maricopa Community Colleges to assist latino/a/x students in navigating the college experience through the HSI EXCELlence Program, providing personalized guidance, support and resources. Dedicated success coaches support students every step of the way, creating a sense of community and care by providing critical resources, including assistance with financial aid applications, providing guidance and support to building networks, and completing degrees and certificates.
The HSI EXCELlence Program is available to latino/a/x students, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students pursuing degrees, certificates or clock hours. Students must apply to be accepted into the program. The HSI EXCELlence Program is available at six of the 10 HSI colleges, including Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Phoenix College and South Mountain Community College.
See how the HSI EXCELlence program has positively impacted students here.