Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is pleased to announce that on Sunday, October 21, this institution received the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Outstanding Member Award at HACU’s 26th Annual Conference, which was at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.
Hostos President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez was also appointed to the association’s Governing Board during the conference. HACU’s Governing Board established this national award to recognize and honor extraordinary efforts by institutions that have excelled in advancing the mission and goals of the association. More than 400 colleges and universities are members of the association. “Forty-five years ago, a group led by Latinos had a vision of a higher education institution that served all New Yorkers, but paid particular attention to the needs of Latinos. As a result of their dream, Hostos was born, said President Matos Rodríguez. “HACU’s award recognizes the incredible work Hostos has done on behalf of Latino students for over four decades.”
Hostos Community College is proud to be one of the 18 founding charter members of the association and it remains a source of consistent support in every significant HACU effort, as it has for the past 25 years. During this time, two different college presidents have served for over eight years on the HACU Governing Board, and more recently on the Commission of International Education.
Over 1,500 people attended the luncheon, including presidents/CEOs of HACU member institutions, distinguished faculty members, civic and student leaders, corporate and government representatives, and others who are concerned with the educational success of Hispanics.
The award was presented about a month after President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring September 16 to September 22 “National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week.” National HSIs Week provides an opportunity to honor the work and commitment of HSIs in addressing the higher education needs of Hispanic students through institutional and academic support.
HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of eighteen institutions. Because of HACU’s exemplary leadership on behalf of the nation’s youngest and fastest-growing population, it rapidly grew in numbers and national impact.
Today, HACU represents more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Although member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
In 1992, HACU led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses. (Click here for more information about the differences between HACU’s definition of HSIs and the federal definition of HSIs under Title V of the Higher Education Act.)
Soon after, HACU and its allies were instrumental in convincing Congress to appropriate money specifically for HSIs. For the first time ever, HSIs were granted $12 million in 1995 from federal resources. Since then, funding has increased significantly because of HACU’s persistent advocacy. In 2012, for example, $100.4 million were appropriated for the HSI undergraduate program under Title V of the Higher Education Act. HACU has recommended that $175 million be appropriated for fiscal year 2013.