UAlbany Joins Excelencia in Education to Release New Report on the Growth of Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Excelencia's 25 Years of HSIs logo.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 23, 2021) – The University at Albany is partnering with Excelencia in Education to share the release of “25 Years of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs),” a robust analysis designed to inform New York educational policy makers, academic researchers, and elected officials about how best to serve Latino students in higher education.

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the first federal funding received by HSIs. Since then, Excelencia in Education has chronicled the impact and changes of HSIs over the years. This new analysis comes at a critical time when a record number of Latino students should be enrolling at colleges and universities.

UAlbany will host a public briefing on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., to discuss the report and bring attention to the fact that HSIs and emerging HSIs in New York enroll and graduate a disproportionate number of the Latino students needed for an educated workforce and citizenry.

“Closing equity gaps in degree attainment requires investing in the institutions enrolling and graduating Latino students in our states and across the country,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia’s CEO. “Learning what these institutions are doing to intentionally serve Latino students and accelerating their impact is critical at the state and federal levels.”

“As Hispanics make up a growing proportion of college-age students in New York State, it is essential that our institutions of higher education can meet the needs of this extremely heterogeneous population,” said University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “We have a lot to learn from the experiences of HSIs in New York as we build the critical infrastructure to support Latinx student success.”

New York Supports Latino Success

A student carries the El Salvador flag during UAlbany's 2016 undergraduate commencement ceremony.
A student carries the El Salvador flag during UAlbany's undergraduate commencement ceremony. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus)

Thursday’s briefing will feature a series of discussions with leaders from Excelencia in Education, along with President Rodríguez, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodríguez, Rockland County Community College President Michael Baston, Borough of Manhattan Community College President Anthony Munroe and New York State Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.

Alfredo Medina Jr., executive director of UAlbany’s Office of Public Engagement and associate director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will moderate the event, including a Q&A opportunity for attendees.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

“Good ideas need solid support,” said Sarita Brown, Excelencia’s president. “We thank President Rodríguez and the staff at the University at Albany for making common cause with Excelencia and for the leadership investment in this important research that informs the nation as we navigate current challenges and sets the course for the future.”

UAlbany Recognized as Emerging HSI

An emerging HSI, UAlbany is committed to inclusive education, promoting a campus culture that is diverse, and ensuring a welcoming and supportive community to students from all cultural and economic backgrounds.

A 2017 report published by the Education Trust, “A Look at Latino Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,” listed UAlbany as a top-10 performing institution with a 66.6 percent graduation rate and 2.7 percent completion gap for Latino students.

Another Education Trust report, published last year, highlighted UAlbany as a leader in advancing racial equity among the nation’s 101 most prestigious and best-funded public higher education institutions. Since 2000, the report found UAlbany has more than doubled its number of enrolled Latino students from 6 percent to 16 percent of the total student body.

Gov. Cuomo also appointed President Rodríguez to serve as executive director of SUNY’s Hispanic Leadership Institute starting in January 2020. He is charged with developing and supporting the next generation of executive-level Latino leaders across the SUNY system, which has committed to becoming the most inclusive university system in the country.