Embracing a demographic shift

In 2012, UC Santa Cruz was enrolling more than 25% Latinx students still experienced inequities in educational outcomes at alarming rates in areas such as student retention, graduation, and participation in high-demand fields. UCSC made the strategic decision to pursue the Hispanic-Serving Institution designation, a special classification enabling the university to apply for federal grants to meet the needs of UCSC’s growing Latinx population.

As part of the research and application process, the university selected a group of dedicated faculty, staff, and students to explore how to recruit and increase the graduation rates of Latinx students. Research around the unique challenges of UCSC’s growing Latinx population closely looked at how the university could increase educational equity and achievement among Latinx.

In 2015, UC Santa Cruz earned the HSI designation and kicking-off the work of creating programs and grants centered on positive educational outcomes for Latinx students. Today, UCSC is one of more than 472 universities to meet the federal benchmark as a Hispanic Serving Institution. The designation has paved the way for three multi-million dollar grants dedicated to supporting Latino and underrepresented students at the university.

Take a look at some of the key milestones UCSC has reached as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

Milestones for UC Santa Cruz as a Hispanic-Serving Institution

  • Spring 2012 - UC Santa Cruz begins process of becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution  

  • 2012 to 2015 - In depth research continues. HSI committee identifies four main areas of improvement regarding student success: advising, writing, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and climate and community

  • 2015 - UC Santa Cruz applies for Hispanic Serving Institution designation

  • Winter 2015 - UC Santa Cruz earns HSI designation, under the TItle III and Title V programs

  • Fall 2016 - UC Santa Cruz awarded $3.2 million for Cultivamos Excelencia Scholar transfer collaboration with San Jose City College, Cabrillo College, Monterey Peninsula College, and Hartnell College

  • Fall 2016 - UC Santa Cruz awarded $5.7 million for equity initiative in STEM

  • Summer and Fall 2016 - WORD Summer Institute, Regional Family Conferences and Family Day launch for 2016-2017 academic year

Looking ahead

Currently, UC Santa Cruz continues to explore programming and funding opportunities that honor the diverse needs of our students. We believe creating a thriving, inclusive community with our HSI funding and programming will result in a rich social and academic experience for all at UCSC.