Helios Education Foundation is investing in a new initiative to focus strategic resources and a commitment to success among Hispanic students at colleges and universities across Arizona
Helios has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Arizona Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Consortium, a newly formed organization that brings together the state’s 22 Hispanic-serving colleges and universities to strengthen their individual and collective capacity to advance Hispanic student success in Arizona.
HSI is a federal designation by the U.S. Department of Education that identifies colleges and universities with 25% or more Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment.
Helios’ early investment in the Consortium will help build a strong foundation, establish a focused plan of action, support swift and intentional movement from ideation to implementation, and produce recommendations that will be presented to Arizona leaders. This one-year planning grant will also support input gathering and a planning process, cataloguing and disseminating evidence-based practices, launching an inaugural summit, and identifying implementation priorities moving forward.
“The Consortium directly aligns with the mission of Helios and our Latino Student Success strategy in Arizona to enrich the lives of these students by creating equitable opportunities for success in postsecondary education,” said Paul J. Luna, Helios President and CEO. “We are looking forward to working together with the Consortium to meet the needs of our Hispanic students while helping to ensure more Hispanic students have the opportunity to complete a college degree.”
The Arizona HSI Consortium launched in January 2021 and seeks to create a strongly networked cohort of HSIs that are committed to thoughtfully and intentionally advancing educational success, degree and certificate attainment, and workforce readiness among Hispanic college students.
“We are thrilled to partner with Helios to provide a solid launch to the AZ HSI Consortium, which aims to create a collaborative and strongly networked community of practice across HSIs in Arizona,” said Dr. Marla Franco, Assistant Vice Provost, Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives, University of Arizona and Founder, AZ HSI Consortium. “Together, we look forward to intentionally supporting the growing number of Arizona HSIs in their efforts to accelerate educational access and degree attainment for Hispanic students with an equity and culturally responsive lens.”
There are more than 500 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the U.S. and more colleges will soon be designated as HSIs, as enrollment of Hispanic students in higher education is expected to exceed 4.4 million students by 2025.
The 22 HSIs in Arizona include the following institutions:
- Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix (Phoenix)
- Arizona State University – West (Glendale)
- Arizona Western College (Yuma)
- Central Arizona College (Coolidge)
- Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Chandler)
- Cochise Count Community College (Sierra Vista)
- College America (Phoenix)
- Estrella Mountain Community College (Avondale)
- Gateway Community College (Phoenix)
- Glendale Community College (Glendale)
- Mesa Community College (Mesa)
- Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff)
- Ottawa University Phoenix (Phoenix)
- Ottawa University Surprise (Surprise)
- Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix)
- Phoenix College (Phoenix)
- Pima Community College (Tucson)
- Rio Salado College (Tempe)
- South Mountain Community College (Phoenix)
- Southwest University of Visual Arts (Tucson)
- University of Arizona (Tucson)
- University of Arizona South (Sierra Vista)
“Addressing the Latinx opportunity gap is crucial not only to the success of HSI community colleges but Arizona as a whole,” said Dr. Rey Rivera, President, Estrella Mountain Community College and Co-Founder, AZ HSI Consortium.
According to the Arizona Education Progress Meter, 70% of new jobs in Arizona will require a higher education degree or certificate. HSI community colleges are ready to support the needs of the skilled workforce in the highest-demand areas in a way that is equitable, accessible, and affordable for students. This consortium will help unite HSIs across the state in the collective pursuit of increasing educational attainment with our youngest and most populous demographic for the betterment of our Arizona.