UTEP President and Other Higher Ed Leaders Discuss the Impact of Texas Universities on Hispanic Success
Last Updated on March 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Originally published March 23, 2021
By UC Staff
At a critical juncture in the economic recovery of Texas and the nation, The University of Texas at El Paso is proud to join with national higher education leader Excelencia in Education to unveil “25 Years of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs),” a new, major research project.
The effort, supported by UTEP and other institutions throughout the United States, has produced a robust set of analyses to inform educational policymakers, academic researchers, elected officials and foundations on how best to serve Latino students in higher education.
UTEP co-hosted a virtual event on March 23, titled “Texas Briefing on 25 Years of HSIs in Accelerating Latinx Student Success” to discuss the findings of the research carried out by Excelencia, and how those findings will inform the future of HSIs in Texas.
UTEP President Heather Wilson participated in the state briefing along with the presidents of The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at San Antonio. El Paso Community College (EPCC) President William Serrata and other higher education leaders and student success advocates from across the Lone Star State also participated in the event.
“UTEP has been intentional about serving Hispanic students for more than 30 years, and it’s a very mature Hispanic-serving institution,” Wilson told the audience during the virtual gathering. “Ours is an open access institution that is a first-class research university with student success and persistence that is above the average selective institution. That is really hard to do.”
In her remarks, Wilson also highlighted the importance of UTEP’s partnership with EPCC and the institutions’ shared responsibility to get students from the region’s high schools onto a path toward a meaningful post-secondary credential or education.
Wilson also stated that while going to college remains the best way for individuals to move up the socioeconomic ladder, those who live with and around college students also reap the benefits in many ways.
“We all live better lives because we live in an educated community,” Wilson said.
UTEP is a 2019 recipient of the Seal of Excelencia, which recognizes U.S. higher education institutions that intentionally serve Latino students and demonstrate positive student outcomes.
UTEP is one of the largest and most successful Hispanic-serving institutions in the country, with a student body that is 83% Hispanic. It enrolls nearly 25,000 students in 166 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in 10 colleges and schools. With more than $100 million in total annual research expenditures, UTEP is ranked in the top 5% of research institutions nationally and fifth in Texas for federal research expenditures at public universities.