Serving historically marginalized individuals.
Hispanic-Serving Initiatives (HSI) empower Cal Lutheran students by encouraging practices that are fundamental to global leadership and integral to our university mission.
Cal Lutheran's designation as an HSI demonstrates the university's commitment to living out its mission within the changing context of student demographics. It is also a transformation that focuses on student success for all historically marginalized students* (defined below), including Latinx and/or low income students.
*Historically marginalized students are those who identify as Latinx, Black/African American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaska Native or any combination of these identities. Latinx is a gender inclusive term used to describe people of all genders that are of Latina/o descent.
What is an HSI?
A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Latinx. To become an HSI, an institution has to apply for designation via the US Department of Education.
Cal Lutheran reached 25 percent Latinx in 2013 and obtained HSI Status in 2016. In 2021, nearly 39 percent of our student population identified as Latinx. HSI designation provides many benefits, including the opportunity to apply for federal funding — Cal Lutheran received over $11M in federal HSI Title III and Title V grants between 2016 and 2018 to support these initiatives. Learn more about Hispanic Serving Institutions
How will Cal Lutheran build on its HSI status and HSI STEM grant to become Latinx serving, rather than just Latinx enrolling? This plan charts the course.Learn More
We’ve launched Project CHESS with Moorpark College to support transfer students and EDU|CAL to promote pathways to teaching.Learn More
Our partnerships under Cal Lutheran's HSI designation provide powerful relationships that support students. The STEAM program, powered by Amgen, leads the way forward.Learn More
Get to know the numbers and noteworthy facts about Cal Lutheran's role as an HSI*
HSIs nationally, including Cal Lutheran,
with 328 emerging institutions
of higher education institutions across 27 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico are HSIs
of all Latinx undergraduates in higher education are enrolled at HSIs
of California's population
identifies as Latinx
of Cal Lutheran's undergraduate student population is Latinx
of Cal Lutheran faculty
are people of color
*Source: Office of Educational Effectiveness and Institutional Research, February 2021
There is no recipe to becoming an HSI, however, most HSIs develop because of demographic changes in the areas surrounding the institution. This is unlike Tribal Colleges and Universities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities which were founded to serve their respective populations. An increase in the Latinx population in both Los Angeles County (49%) and Ventura County (42%), along with intentional efforts to increase the diversity of the student body, prompted Cal Lutheran’s move to become an HSI.
At Cal Lutheran being an HSI means taking an internal look at processes and systems in higher education that have disproportionately affected historically marginalized groups* (defined at bottom of page). This means, looking at all areas of the University to be more inclusive. In 2017, Inclusion became a major component of our University Strategic Plan; this has allowed Cal Lutheran to grow as a leader in the HSI community and set an example of inclusive excellence. Cal Lutheran’s mission is to help develop leaders for a global society, in becoming an HSI, we honor this promise to students (and their families).
As an HSI, Cal Lutheran provides students a more holistic view of the world enabling them to become leaders in an ever changing and diverse world. As a member of the ELCA, Cal Lutheran embraces the teachings of inclusivity championed by the church.
HSI designation has given Cal Lutheran, via Title III and Title V funds, the opportunity to better serve Latinx transfer students, Latinx students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Latinx students interested in becoming teachers.
Tutoring and supplemental instruction in the STEM disciplines have been implemented and all STEM students have access to advisors in addition to faculty to guide their careers.
Both Title III and Title V funds have positively impacted curriculum in all areas of study. Faculty, through HSI funding, may apply to receive professional development to incorporate high impact teaching practices, such as active learning and culturally responsive pedagogy.