9 out of 10 Maricopa Community Colleges Officially Recognized as Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Maricopa County Community College District

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is proud to announce that nine out of its 10 Colleges are now recognized as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI), a designation from the U.S. Department of Education that recognizes accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic and Latinx student enrollment.

MCCCD welcomes Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, and Rio Salado College as new HSIs in its District, joining Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Phoenix Community College, and South Mountain Community College.

“The Maricopa Community Colleges are committed to providing the best possible student experience, which includes seeking out opportunities to support our diverse student population and the 35 percent of our District’s students who identify as Hispanic or Latinx,” said MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “The HSI designation opens opportunities to apply for federal funds reserved for minority-serving institutions, and having more of our Colleges meet the eligibility requirements allows us to continue serving our Hispanic and Latinx students with exceptional learning opportunities.”

The Maricopa Community Colleges account for almost half of all HSIs in the state, with nine out of 22 total schools across Arizona, according to 2019-2020 data. Nationally, HSIs represent 18 percent of all colleges and universities, yet enroll 67 percent of all Hispanic and Latinx undergraduates.

Beyond being an indication of a demographic shift, the significance of MCCCD’s expansion to nine HSI colleges is a matter of inclusive strategic priorities. The Colleges will now have access to a larger number of federal funding opportunities, which will increase competition between colleges for individual grants. In addition, it can offer a foundation for collaboration for grant opportunities that allow for or encourage partnerships that improve Hispanic and Latinx student achievement and success.

MCCCD currently has many HSI-specific grant awards, in addition to available scholarships, work-based experiences, course-based undergraduate research experiences, high-demand certificate programs, faculty development, and pre-college outreach programs.

Earlier this year, HSIs celebrated 25 years of being specifically funded through federal legislation. Excelencia in Education, an organization committed to accelerating Hispanic and Latinx student success in higher education, worked with Dr. Gonzales and several other higher education leaders on a national research project chronicling the last 25 years of HSIs.To view the project and read more, please visit www.edexcelencia.org/25yrs-HSIs.

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