Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) are broadly defined as institutions of higher education that enroll large numbers of students who self-identify as Hispanic or Latina/o. HSIs were officially recognized during the 1990s, which makes them a relatively new institutional type. HSIs provide access to higher education for more than half of all Latina/o undergraduates and a large proportion of students from other historically underrepresented groups. This entry describes the historical development, multiple definitions, and general characteristics of HSIs.

Historical Development of HSIs

Most HSIs were not purposely designed with a mission to serve Latina/o students, which makes them different from other minority-serving institutions (MSIs), such as historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) or tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) that have a specific mission to serve African Americans and Native ...

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