MAGIC VALLEY — Earlier this year, the College of Southern Idaho reached a milestone with more than 25% of its student body identifying as Hispanic. Following that achievement, the college received the Hispanic Serving Institution status. CSI is the first higher learning institution in the Gem State to achieve this status.
To officially mark their HSI status, the college is partnering with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs to start the HSI kick-off week with various celebrations.
“The whole point of being a Hispanic serving institution is to, first of all, acknowledge that institution has this body of students to serve. But also to look at different resource opportunities available to say okay as an institution now that you’ve crossed this threshold, what could you be doing to better serve that population," Chris Bragg, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Communication for CSI, said.
With the status, the college will also be able to apply for more federal grants to provide more resources to their students.
“There may be a little lag in terms of specific programs that come about as a result of HSI status. But there are a lot of institutions around the country that will tell you becoming an HSI and having access to those grant monies made a significant difference in their ability to help Hispanic students in their area, and students throughout the geographical area where the college is located," Bragg said.
HSI kick-off week will start Monday, October 4 with various celebrations throughout the week. Presidents from other Hispanic Serving Institutions will also be a part of the celebration and will be discussing why this status is important.
“We’re proud of the fact that we are the first Hispanic serving institution in the state, and we are going to make sure that we treat that with the respect that it deserves and that we use that as an opportunity to meet the needs of the students in our area," Bragg said.
CSI has been working closely with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs to create more solutions to better serve Hispanic students.
“Our goal would be to work with the president and his administration to increase their staff, the educators, and the professors on campus. I’m really hopeful that they will not only attract more students but faculty of color," Margie Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, said.
For more information on HSI kick-off week, you can visit CSI's website.