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Governance at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Governance at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Deborah Santiago is chief operating officer and vice president for policy at Excelencia in Education, which provides data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latinos and promotes policies and institutional practices that support their academic achievement. Trusteeship asked her about the role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and their boards, and a portion of that article is excerpted below.  Read the full article here.

Do the responsibilities of HSI governing boards differ from those of other boards?

Their responsibilities are enhanced by the need to address the critical mass of Latino and other post-traditional students enrolled at their institutions. As board members, intentionality in serving Hispanic students is needed. HSI board members should know how their institutions are “serving” and graduating Latino students as part of all students enrolled. Retaining these students to graduation requires intentionality and investment by institutional leaders, including governing board members. Retention requires a willingness to consider program strategies and policies that address the strengths and needs of Latino students today, not a stereotyped, and often inaccurate, profile.

How should boards be thinking about these institutions going forward?

Increasingly, HSIs are standing out as trendsetters because of their evidence-based practices in Latino student access, retention, and completion. Board members can own this trendsetting and use their leadership to ensure that every student who enrolls is retained to completion. This leadership, in turn, can inform the efforts by other institutions only beginning to experience a growth in the enrollment of Latino and post-traditional students.

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