“Purpose of Program: The DHSI Program provides grants to assist Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. DHSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and help large numbers of Hispanic students and low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.
Background: Hispanic students are enrolling in post-secondary institutions at higher rates than ever before; however, we continue to lose a substantial number of Hispanic students prior to degree completion. Additionally, while Hispanic students have very high enrollments at 2-year institutions, the transfer rate to 4-year institutions, as well as the rate of certificate and associate degree completion, continues to be low. This is unacceptable especially considering the evidence showing how essential post-secondary education, including certification programs, is to full participation in today’s competitive workforce. Given the growth of the Hispanic population, it is imperative that we ensure educational success for our youngest and fastest growing population. As a nation, we cannot afford to have such a large portion of our population under-educated and therefore underrepresented in competitive careers in a global economy. Progress toward higher rates of Hispanics with post-secondary degrees requires intentional and ongoing support throughout every level of the educational pipeline. To this end, in this competition, the Department is inviting applicants to focus on the various aspects of the teacher preparation pipeline. Currently, Hispanic teachers make up about 7.8 percent of the teacher workforce, yet Hispanic students make up over 24 percent of the public school system’s elementary and secondary student body. HSIs are in a position to enhance and develop programs that improve the preparation, support, and retention of Hispanic teachers. Investing in teacher preparation programs can provide benefits that lead to academic improvement of pre-kindergarten, elementary, and secondary students. A recent report by the Department, ‘The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,’ cited the social and academic gains for students of color when they are taught by teachers of color. These gains have the potential to contribute to positive academic outcomes for this targeted population. To increase the number of Hispanic teachers, we will need to ensure post-secondary success for this population. This means we must also further efforts to facilitate transfer programs between 2-year and 4-year institutions. In this competition, we also include a transfer model priority for 2- year HSIs to partner with 4-year institutions. This, we believe, is a comprehensive approach to support multiple levels of the educational pipeline leading to educational success.
Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority. The competitive preference priorities are from the authorized activities for the DHSI Program in section 503(b) of the HEA.”
Excerpted from Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Notices.