Colorado Community College System Recognizes Hispanic Serving Colleges
Trinidad and Valley Campus / September 16, 2021 /
HSI Week heightens awareness of role of HSIs in improving access to education for Hispanic students
This week, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is proud to recognize seven of its colleges that are designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and their work in supporting Hispanic students. The week is observed nationally as Hispanic Serving Institutions week, and also marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage month, September 15 – October 15, 2021.
“Hispanic Serving Institution” is a federal designation that recognizes institutions that have an undergraduate enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students. The following seven CCCS colleges are HSIs: Aurora Community College, Community College of Denver, Lamar Community College, Morgan Community College, Otero College, Pueblo Community College, and Trinidad State College. Overall, 24 percent of CCCS students are Hispanic, with the highest percentages at Trinidad State College (41 percent) and Otero Junior College (38 percent).
Trinidad State College will recognize the week and National Hispanic Heritage Month with an opening fiesta and music celebration followed over the next days and weeks with games, movie night, and other activities. Pueblo Community College is housing the El Movimiento exhibit and the original Los Seis de Boulder mural in the library on their Orman campus. The Community College of Aurora is hosting Masterpieces and Milkshakes at which participants will discuss identities, support systems and journeys through art. And the Community College of Aurora has invited Mariachi and Folklorico dancers to the campus, is making masterpieces and enjoying milkshakes with students, and hosting a viewing of Knock Down the House followed by a discussion. These and other activities at all the colleges are heightening awareness of the important role HSIs play in improving access to education for traditionally underserved students.
Colorado’s community colleges have a deep commitment to closing the degree attainment gaps between majority and minority populations. “As our state’s largest and fastest growing minority population, Colorado Latinos have been well-served by all of our 13 colleges, particularly our seven colleges that qualify as HSIs,” said Chancellor Joe Garcia. “I am proud of the work of our HSI colleges in providing pathways to opportunity and success for all Coloradans. By eliminating disparities in college attainment, we will build better lives and stronger communities in Colorado.”
In Colorado, the 2020 census shows 22 percent of Colorado’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latino origin. While over half of the adult population has a postsecondary credential, only 25 percent of the Hispanic population in Colorado has an associate or higher degree. Colorado ranks 23rd in the nation in terms of educational attainment among people identifying as Hispanic, compared to 2nd in the U.S. for the total population, illustrating the continued gap in educational attainment.