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  • Writer's pictureKevin Ferreira van Leer

Project Updates: Continued Funding!

We are thrilled to share that the Using Our Voices to Transform Hispanic Serving Institutions project has received a second grant from the College Futures Foundation to continue our work engaging Latine undergraduate students in transforming CSU HSIs from Latine-enrolling to Latine-serving!

The grant will allow us to build on our previous mixed methods, participatory action research project exploring Latine student perceptions of “servingness” in HSIs and how it can be improved (see a video overview of our findings by clicking here). These findings have already helped foster institutional change at Sac State - for example, some of these findings were integrated into Sacramento State’s successful Seal of Excelencia recertification application. The Seal of Excelencia is a national certification for higher education institutions that are intentionally serving Latine students.

We want to express a sincere thank you to those that have supported this project since the beginning, including Sac State advisory board members, mentors and friends, and University Initiatives and Student Success at Sac State. A big thank you to those that attended and provided feedback at our many events at Sacramento State last year – we have loved seeing and hearing how project findings have influenced changes across the institution and look forward to continued collaborations.  

The grant will support us in sharing findings more broadly through research and practice briefs – highlighting student co-researcher voices as well as staff and administrator advisory board members. It also enables us to work with faculty, staff and students across the CSU system to interrogate the policies, programs and practices that support Latine student success. The CSU system enrolls 42% of Latine undergraduates in California and twenty-one of the 23 CSU campuses are designated by the Department of Education as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). Additionally, only seven of the 21 HSI CSUs have received the Seal of Excelencia. We are excited to work with colleagues across the system to transform our institutions! Additionally, many of our initial student co-researchers as well as Dr. Gina Garcia and Dr. Marcela Cuellar will continue serving as senior advisors on the project.


As we move into a new year, we are excited to continue to share our work during the spring semester across several venues including the Society for Research on Adolescence 2024 Annual Meeting, Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators 2024 Best Practice conference, CSU Northern HSI regional meeting, and ¿Qué pasa, HSIs? podcast.  

More to come soon!

-Kevin & Amber, Co-PIs

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