University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hopes to earn federal designation to serve Hispanic students

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Wisconsin’s Hispanic population continues to rise, they are the second largest and fastest growing ethnic group in Wisconsin. The population has increased nearly 50 percent since the 2000 Census.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, thirty-nine percent of Wisconsin’s Hispanic population are under the age of 18, and concentrated in Milwaukee, Dane, Racine, Kenosha and Brown counties.

All of that is welcome news to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the next decade, the University will be working to expand services, and support initiatives to Latino students, earning the state’s first federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). Institutions with this designation are eligible for funding to support student recruitment and retention, faculty development, community outreach and more.

Urban Milwaukee reports:

“Our top priority is student success,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “Achieving HSI status is critically important to addressing the upcoming demographic changes of an increasingly diverse student population. Our efforts will benefit all students through a learning environment that prepares them for today’s world. We will simultaneously produce UWM graduates who understand their local communities and provide a pipeline of prepared and talented employees for our region.”

Demographic trends in Wisconsin indicate that HSI status is an achievable and relevant goal for UWM over the next decade. Latino students will soon represent Wisconsin’s fastest growing group of college bound students. For a college or university to achieve HSI status, at least 25 percent of its undergraduate students must be Latino.

“I can say that I am very excited that we’ve launched the Chancellor’s Committee for Hispanic Serving Initiatives, but in many ways this is no surprise,” said Alberto Maldonado, interim director of UWM’s Roberto Hernández Center. “Truly, this is a continuation of the work that started at UWM 46 years ago when Latino students knocked on the chancellor’s door and requested a university resource dedicated to their enrollment and success here.”

For more on UWM’s plans, visit Urban Milwaukee.