University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM plans to become Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution

Earning the HSI federal designation will help UWM expand services and support to its thriving population of Latino students

By - Oct 19th, 2016 03:15 pm
UWM Union. Photo by Dave Reid.

UWM Union. Photo by Dave Reid.

MILWAUKEE_The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month this October by unveiling a major new initiative to make UWM the state’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

Earning the HSI federal designation will help UWM expand services and support to its thriving population of Latino students, who make up around nine percent of its undergraduate population of 21,000. Institutions that achieve HSI status are eligible for funding to support student recruitment and retention, faculty development, community outreach and more.

“Our top priority is student success,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “Achieving HSI status is critically important to addressing the upcoming demographic changes of an increasingly diverse student population. Our efforts will benefit all students through a learning environment that prepares them for today’s world. We will simultaneously produce UWM graduates who understand their local communities and provide a pipeline of prepared and talented employees for our region.”

Demographic trends in Wisconsin indicate that HSI status is an achievable and relevant goal for UWM over the next decade. Latino students will soon represent Wisconsin’s fastest growing group of college bound students. For a college or university to achieve HSI status, at least 25 percent of its undergraduate students must be Latino.

“I can say that I am very excited that we’ve launched the Chancellor’s Committee for Hispanic Serving Initiatives, but in many ways this is no surprise,” said Alberto Maldonado, interim director of UWM’s Roberto Hernández Center. “Truly, this is a continuation of the work that started at UWM 46 years ago when Latino students knocked on the chancellor’s door and requested a university resource dedicated to their enrollment and success here.”

That university resource became the Roberto Hernández Center, the only full-time university-based center in Wisconsin dedicated to the needs of Latino students. Located in UWM’s Bolton Hall, the center serves 75 UWM students daily and advises 800 yearly. The center is in the process of expanding its advising staff, will offer evening hours by student request during UWM midterm and finals week and will co-host the third annual Bilingual Open House (Casa Abierta) on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.

The Chancellor’s Committee for Hispanic Serving Initiatives convenes bimonthly at UWM and comprises university administrators, faculty, staff and students.

About UWM

Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 81 countries. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2017 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, as well as a top “Green College.”

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