UArizona-founded consortium gets Helios Foundation award to advance Hispanic student success
The Arizona HSI Consortium was awarded $100,000 to establish an action plan and priorities, to produce recommendations for Arizona leaders, and to launch an inaugural summit, among other things.

University Communications and Helios Education Foundation
Feb. 25, 2022

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Chris Richards/University of Arizona

The Arizona Hispanic Serving Institutions Consortium – which brings together the state's 22 Hispanic-serving colleges and universities, including the University of Arizona – has been awarded $100,000 by the Helios Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Latino student success.

The Arizona HSI Consortium was founded in 2021 by Marla Franco, UArizona assistant vice provost for Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives, with the goal of creating a network of HSIs committed to advancing educational success, degree and certificate attainment, and workforce readiness among Hispanic college students. HSI is a federal designation by the U.S. Department of Education that identifies colleges and universities with 25% or more Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment.

The one-year grant from Helios will support the consortium's work to establish an action plan and priorities, to produce recommendations for Arizona leaders, and to launch an inaugural summit, among other things.

"We are thrilled to partner with Helios to provide a solid launch to the AZ HSI Consortium, which aims to create a collaborative and strongly networked community of practice across HSIs in Arizona," Franco said. "Together, we look forward to intentionally supporting the growing number of Arizona HSIs in their efforts to accelerate educational access and degree attainment for Hispanic students with an equity and culturally responsive lens."

According to the Arizona Education Progress Meter, 70% of new jobs in Arizona will require a higher education degree or certificate. The consortium aims to unite HSIs across the state to increase educational attainment for Hispanic students.

"The consortium directly aligns with the mission of Helios and our Latino Student Success strategy in Arizona to enrich the lives of these students by creating equitable opportunities for success in postsecondary education," said Paul J. Luna, Helios president and CEO. "We are looking forward to working together with the consortium to meet the needs of our Hispanic students while helping to ensure more Hispanic students have the opportunity to complete a college degree."

There are more than 500 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the U.S., and more colleges will soon be designated as HSIs, as enrollment of Hispanic students in higher education is expected to exceed 4.4 million by 2025. 

In addition to the UArizona main campus, the HSIs in Arizona are:

  • University of Arizona South (Sierra Vista)
  • Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix (Phoenix)
  • Arizona State University – West (Glendale) 
  • Arizona Western College (Yuma)
  • Central Arizona College (Coolidge)
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Chandler)
  • Cochise Count Community College (Sierra Vista)
  • College America (Phoenix)
  • Estrella Mountain Community College (Avondale)
  • Gateway Community College (Phoenix)
  • Glendale Community College (Glendale)
  • Mesa Community College (Mesa)
  • Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff)
  • Ottawa University Phoenix (Phoenix)
  • Ottawa University Surprise (Surprise)
  • Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix)
  • Phoenix College (Phoenix)
  • Pima Community College (Tucson)
  • Rio Salado College (Tempe)
  • South Mountain Community College (Phoenix)
  • Southwest University of Visual Arts (Tucson)

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Kyle Mittan

News Writer, University Communications