Tarleton State Launches Nuestro Destino to Reach HSI Status

Tarleton State kicked off Nuestro Destino: Reaching 25 by 25 Tuesday as part of its month-long Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Aligning with the university’s 10-year strategic plan, the campaign (Our Destination) begins Tarleton’s journey to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes nonprofit two- and four-year postsecondary schools with an undergraduate Hispanic student population of at least 25 percent (50 percent Pell Grant eligible). HSI status enables institutions to compete for federal funding that supports first-generation students, professional development for faculty and enhancements to curriculum. Considering that 54 percent of the university’s students are first-gen, this funding would benefit all Tarleton Texans.

With almost 23 percent of its full-time undergraduate population identifying as Hispanic, Tarleton State is well on its way to achieving HSI status by 2025 if not before, said university President James Hurley.

“Reaching HSI status has never been just about numbers,” Dr. Hurley said. “It’s about ensuring that every student who wants a university education has the opportunity.”

According to U.S. Census Bureau June estimates, Hispanics compose the largest share of the Texas population (40.2 percent), and the Labor Department estimates that nearly 20 percent of the nation’s workforce will be Hispanic by 2024.

Dr. Hurley: “Being known as a university that values Hispanic contributions and capabilities is an honor worth having. The growing Hispanic influence in our region can only strengthen our economy and competitiveness. That Tarleton State provides the transformative education to make this happen is extremely gratifying.”

Once Tarleton’s Hispanic enrollment hits 25 percent, the university can apply for HSI status. A steering committee of faculty, staff and students is refining the university’s roadmap, pinpointing resource needs, facilitating conversations with stakeholders, researching exemplary HSI institutions and programs, and identifying current services.

The committee members:

  • Dr. Florencio Aranda III (Chair), Student Global and Community Connections
  • Cynthia Aguilar, Dean of Students Administrative Office
  • Dr. Keldon Bauer, College of Business
  • Kyle Becerra, Event Services
  • Dr. Mauricio Erazo-Barradas, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Dr. Juan Gallardo, University College
  • Dr. Kimberly Guay, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Dr. Mike Luera, College of Health Sciences
  • Crystal Martinez-Smith, Financial Aid
  • Laura Mendoza, Enrollment Management
  • Dr. Daniel Vasquez, Campus Recreation
  • Jesse Hernandez
  • Juan Hernandez
  • America Ramirez
  • Lectsuli Videa  

According to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Texas has 102 HSI colleges and universities. Seven are Texas A&M System schools.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.