Five years ago, Metropolitan State University of Denver set an ambitious goal to become a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with 25 percent Latino enrollment in 10 years.
By fall 2011 — one year ahead of projections — Latino student enrollment reached 18.2 percent, or 4,281 out of MSU Denver’s nearly 24,000 students. That’s up from 13 percent in 2007.
The University has made these improvements by launching initiatives to specifically recruit Latino students, adding new Latino-focused curriculum, and reinvigorating efforts to help Denver high school students and their families navigate admissions and financial aid. In 2010, MSU Denver also began offering graduate degrees that will help Latino students pursue their professional aspirations.
MSU Denver’s achievements in recruiting and serving Latino students have garnered national attention. In a 2010 report, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Excelencia in Education singled out the University as one of four “emerging HSIs” (among 176 emerging HSIs) for its successful efforts to effectively serve Latino students.
“There are so many programs, in all areas,” says Deputy Provost Luis Torres, “It’s a different institution than it was a few years ago.”