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Research / H3ERC Research Initiative 

The HACU Hispanic Higher Education Research Collective (H3ERC)


The HACU Hispanic Higher Education Research Collective was launched in 2004 and received initial funding support from Education Testing Service (ETS).  Under the direction of HACU's Dr. Alex Ramirez, a small group of researchers met in San Antonio in March 2005 to develop a framework for needed research in Hispanic higher education.  Literature reviews were commissioned and produced to be presented at a series of meetings over the summer of 2006 at UCLA, the University of Texas in San Antonio, and ETS headquarters in Princeton, NJ. 

Additional funding was secured from the Lumina Foundation for two further workshops.  The first at the University of Houston, September 11-12, 2007, brought together fifteen researchers and practitioners to develop a set of research agenda around "Student success and engagement in and outside of classroom settings," "Transforming Institutions: making HSIs stellar teaching and learning communities," and "Graduate and undergraduate student success and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields."  The second took place at Montclair State University (NJ) July 16-17, 2008, involving fourteen participants on the theme of "Recruiting, preparing, supporting, and retaining more Hispanics in the teaching profession, and ensuring that all teachers are appropriately prepared to teach Hispanic students in elementary and secondary schools."

The work product of the two workshops that did take place was summarized in "The H3ERC Research Agenda: Impacting education and changing lives through understanding."

During the summer of 2011, HACU's new Director of Policy Analysis and Information, Emily Calderón Galdeano, assumed responsibility for the Collective.  A gathering of researchers took place April 14, 2012, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting to update the research community on the project and to make plans for a summer 2012 meeting.  The National Latina/o Education Research, Policy and Practice Initiative meeting took place June 9-11, 2012 in San Antonio, TX, and drew fifty-three researchers and funders for a discussion of key issues in Hispanic higher education research. The H3ERC Research Agenda was presented, the original literature reviews from 2006-2007 were updated and an additional set of white papers and more extensive research projects were commissioned (see links below).

Presentations on the project were made at HACU's 26th Annual Conference in October 2012 and research projects were presented in workshops at HACU's 27th Annual Conference in October 2013. A co-edited book of the literature, topics and research identified through these meetings is in preparation.  The research collective continues to interact via social media.

HACU is grateful to the long-term support of the Lumina Foundation for this project.


The following goals were presented to the Lumina Foundation to guide the work of the project:

  1. Develop a "use-inspired" research agenda for Hispanic access and success in higher education for H3ERC building upon the earlier work.
  2. Garner input and support for the research agenda and H3ERC and explore partnerships with foundations, policy makers and agencies convening them with researchers, policy makers and practitioners to review and discuss the research framework and agenda.
  3. Provide the foundation for the NICHE (National Innovation Center for Hispanic Education) web portal by piloting collaborative online tools, resources and strategies for:
    1. Developing the research agenda;
    2. Building the research collaborative and within it learning communities of practice, partnerships of researchers, policy makers, practititioners and foundations;
    3. Sharing research, data, practices, policies, problems and solutions; and
    4. Promoting and supporting a culture of research and innovation.

The H3ERC Research Agenda (click here)

Literature Reviews

"Hispanics and Higher Education: An Overview of Research, Theory and Practice," Amaury Nora and Gloria Crisp (published 2009).

"Realizing the Potential of Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Multiple Dimensions of Institutional Diversity for Advancing Hispanic Higher Education," Sylvia Hurtado and Adriana Ruiz (updated July 2012).

"Charting a Course towards Hispanic Success in Science, Engineering and Mathematics," Rebecca Villarreal, Alberto F. Cabrera and Katherine A. Friedrich (updated July 2012).

"Overview of Hispanics in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM): K-16 Representation, Preparation and Participation," Gloria Crisp and Amaury Nora (updated July 2012).

"Hispanics in the Teaching Profession: Demographic Profile and Needed Research," Ana María Villegas (August 2007).

White Papers

"Undocumented Students in American Higher Education," Ryan Evely Gildersleeve and Susana Hernandez (July 2012).

"The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics," Susana Hernandez and Ryan Evely Gildersleeve (July 2012).

"Future research on Hispanic students: What have we yet to learn and What new and diverse perspectives are needed to examine Latino success in higher education?" Amaury Nora and Gloria Crisp (July 2012).

"Hispanic Student Participation and Success in Developmental Education," Amaury Nora and Gloria Crisp (July 2012).

"Hispanic Transfer in 2-year Hispanic-Serving Universities," Anne-Marie Nunez, Gloria Crisp and Diane Elizondo (July 2012).

"Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the U.S. Mainland and Puerto Rico: Organizational Characteristics, Institutional Financial Context, and Graduation Outcomes," Anne-Marie Nunez and Diane Elizondo (July 2012).

"The Latino/a Health Professions Pipeline: An Overview," Mayra Olivares-Urueta (July 2012).

"Lost Among the Data: A Review of Latino First Generation College Students," Nicole Alia Salis Reyes and Amaury Nora (July 2012).

"Leading the 21st Century Demographic: Multi Context Theory and Latina/o Leadership," Fernando Valle and Cristobal Rodriguez (July 2012).