May 2, 2018

Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia

Students join their institutions on Capitol Hill in support of Hispanic-Serving Institutions

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) 23rd Annual National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education on April 9-10, drew 169 participants to its 2018 gathering in Washington, D.C.

The two-day Forum included sessions on the most pressing legislative and appropriations priorities for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HACU’s Legislative Agenda underscores the need for adequate funding for HSIs. According to the Association, “HSIs continue to be underfunded even though they enroll over 63% of the 3.5 million Hispanics in higher education and our nation continues to depend on a workforce that is increasingly Hispanic.” HACU proposes investments for HSIs to better prepare the future workforce of the Nation. Read the full Agenda here.

Approximately 100 representatives visited congressional offices on April 10. Thirty-five students were among those accompanying their institutions on state delegations to Capitol Hill. An advocacy 101 session provided students the opportunity to learn more about what to expect when visiting congressional offices, ask questions, receive tips and role play to better prepare them for their meetings.

Among the institutions accompanied by student participants were: Chabot College; Cochise College; New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; New Mexico State University; Norco College; Sacramento City College; The University of Arizona; and The University of New Mexico.

Many delegates asked their representatives to join the HSI Caucus, which was established to provide ongoing awareness about the value and impact of HSIs in the districts and communities that Members of Congress represent.  

According to the Association, despite a significant growth in the number of HSIs, as well as in the number of Hispanic students in those institutions, federal investments have remained stagnant over the past decade. The HSI Caucus provides opportunities for Members of Congress to further engage in a dialogue about the development of additional resources and legislative opportunities for HSIs.

A reception, “Honoring the Champions of Hispanic Higher Education in Congress,” concluded the Forum. Among the Members of Congress in attendance were Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Rep.  Ruben Kihuen and two co-chairs of the Congressional HSI Caucus: Rep. Will Hurd and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

HACU’s 2019 Capitol Forum will take place April 1-2 in Washington, D.C. Online registration will open in June. Information about sponsorship  and advertising opportunities are available online.


Photo courtesy of Sacramento City College at Capitol Hill