December 13, 2018

Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia 

Growth of Hispanic-Serving School Districts in U.S. show the future of HSIs

The latest data from the 2015-16 school year compiled by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities show increasing Hispanic student enrollment in school districts nationwide, increases which are dramatically changing higher education demographics and leading to a continued expansion of Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the future. Hispanic students accounted for 25% of all K-12 students in 2016, up from 16% in 2000.

Earlier this year, data released showed an additional 20 colleges and universities meeting the Hispanic-Serving Institution enrollment criterion, bringing the total number of HSIs in the 2016-17 academic year to 492. The number of Emerging HSIs, or colleges and universities approaching the 25 percent Hispanic student enrollment threshold, added 10 institutions to total 333 EHSIs.

HACU has released an additional fact sheet to provide essential data on school districts it terms Hispanic-Serving School Districts, those with 25 percent or more Hispanic student enrollment.

Pertinent facts and figures about Hispanic-Serving School Districts:

  • There are over 3,300 HSSDs in the nation, enrolling 78 percent of Hispanic PK-12 students.
  • On average, 53% of all students enrolled in HSSDs are Hispanic.
  • A majority of HSSDs are concentrated geographically: Texas (754), California (682), Arizona (402), New York (234), New Jersey (163) New Mexico (135) and Illinois (124).
  • A majority of Emerging HSSDs are concentrated geographically: Texas (212), California (150), New York (123), Arizona (121) New Jersey (96) and Illinois (87).

This data can aid higher education institutions in projecting enrollment numbers. “In Iowa, for example, where currently no HSIs exist, we see two emerging HSIs and a pipeline that could develop from the demographics of schools districts in that state,” said Jeanette Morales, director for PreK-12 initiatives at HACU. “Data show Iowa with 18 Hispanic-Serving School Districts and 14 emerging HSSDs. These numbers suggest that the state will eventually see its first HSI in the near future, and provide an incentive for colleges and universities to work with PreK-12 districts in collaborative programs to prepare and support Hispanic students, many of whom will be first generation college students,” explains Morales.     

Elizabeth Public Schools, the 3rd largest school district in the state of New Jersey, currently has 68 percent Hispanic population, according to Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer.

“An important guiding principle of meeting our district goals of college preparedness, career readiness, and ‘on-time’ graduation for every child is strengthening community partnerships, which extends beyond the Elizabeth community and includes members of the greater educational community,” said Hugelmeyer.

“Elizabeth Public Schools has been fortunate enough to establish dual enrollment program partnerships with multiple Hispanic-Serving Institutions, providing our students with unique opportunities to get a head start on a postsecondary education in their pursuit of a rewarding career. These partnerships are so significant to elevating expectations and leading our diverse learning community on the road to postsecondary education, as many of our students’ families do not have college education in their background.”

View an interactive map that shows the relationship between Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) / Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (eHSIs) and Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSDs) / Emerging Hispanic-Serving School Districts (eHSSDs) here.

Download a PDF HSSDs Fact Sheet here.

Download HSSD Map here

To learn more about HACU’s PreK-12 & Higher Education Collaboration Initiatives or for an interactive map, visit HACU’s Advocacy Center here.

Dataset compiled by HACU’s Office of Policy Analysis and Information, 10/2018. Source: 2015-16 NCES and 2016-17 IPEDS data using Title IV eligible, 2 year & 4 year, Public and Private, non-profit institutions.