Vigil, a leader and activist in Denver’s Latino community, thanked the
College after hearing the recommendations for programs and processes
that Metro State should use as it works to attain the federal
designation of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).
“It’s so important what you’re doing,” Vigil said during the
feedback session of the Nov. 30 public meeting of the HSI Task Force.
“Think about it. We’re spending more than $100,000 to keep a kid
locked up in juvenile detention. It makes a whole lot of sense to spend
that money on education instead,” said the former executive director of
the Greater Auraria Neighborhood of Associated Services (GANAS), who
has spent many years working with youth.
Vigil attended the meeting along with approximately 20 Metro State
community members from the faculty, admissions, Alumni Relations,
Development Office and others.
A snapshot of the recommendations
followed the presentation of more than 60 recommendations from the task
force’s six subcommittees: Assessment; Recruitment, Retention and
Student Development; Public Relations; Campus Climate; Faculty and Staff Development/Grantsmanship; and Curriculum Development.
thrust of the Assessment Subcommittee was that the College must create
self-sustaining systems in order to make evidence-based decisions on
all HSI-related activities and to share the data among all College
programs to benefit all students.
Among the numerous recommendations of the Recruitment, Retention and
Student Development Subcommittee were the development and
implementation of a pre-collegiate summer program and expansion of the
Excel Outreach Program to put full-time Metro State staff in schools
four days each week. “By 2012-13 we think the program should be
full-blown in the junior high schools, high schools and with parents,”
said subcommittee Co-chair Elena Sandoval-Lucero.
The Campus Climate Subcommittee is suggesting that a new name for
the initiative be created, “HSI gives the impression that we’re seeking
to serve only the Latino community,” said subcommittee member Joshua
Anderson of Alumni Relations. Anderson said the term HSI is confusing
people who don’t understand the term means having a 25 percent Latino
focus of the Faculty and Staff Development/Grantsmanship Subcommittee’s
recommendations is on creating an inclusive learning environment by
developing multicultural awareness training and certification in
multicultural competence with ongoing assessment of measureable
The Curriculum Development subcommittee included among its
recommendations a college-wide policy for the enforcement of
prerequisites and the reform of state and institutional policies with
regard to remedial coursework. “If we want better retention of our
first- and second-year students, we need to have control over the
remedial process,” said subcommittee member Tat Sang So.
Public Relations Subcommittee is still in the process of performing
marketing research and is awaiting executive summaries of three focus
group sessions with Latino alumni, Latino parents, and faculty and
staff as well as of one-on-one interviews with top Latino leaders. The
subcommittee plans to also conduct an online survey of current students
this spring. As Co-chair Cathy Lucas said, “We’re putting the cart
before the horse if we don’t complete the market research before
formulating our recommendations.”
The subcommittee reported on the two meetings with leaders from the
Latino community that were held following the controversy surrounding
in-state tuition for children who are U.S. citizens whose parents are
undocumented workers ( to read more go to http://www.mscd.edu/~collcom/artman/publish/tuition_twv5081207.shtml.)
Co-chair Ramon Del Castillo reported that while the first meeting was
“tough,” the second meeting, which President Jordan was able to attend,
built “bridges of understanding and demonstrates how a university
should relate to the community.”
According to task force Co-chair Judi Diaz
Bonacquisti the next step will be for the task force to prioritize the
recommendations at the January meeting and then submit their report to
The HSI task force will be making presentations to the various
college constituencies once the report is final. The report is
scheduled to be presented to the trustees at the February board meeting.
Several of the power point presentations from the subcommittees are on the HSI Web site at http://www.mscd.edu/president/hsi/documents.shtml. The others will be posted within the week.
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