- Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Advancing Research and Transformative Practice ed. by Anne-Marie Núñez, Sylvia Hurtado, and Emily Calderón Galdeano
Anne-Marie Núñez, Sylvia Hurtado, and Emily Calderón Galdeano (Editors)
New York: Routledge, 2015, 228 pages, $47.95 (Softcover)
Latino/a* college students represent the largest enrolled minority group of students in the country (Fry, 2011). As their enrollment is projected to continually grow, many choose to attend Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). As such, the time is ripe for a text specifically focusing on these institutions. Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Advancing Research and Transformative Practice provides readers with an informative guide to HSIs. The text is divided into three parts, with 11 chapters total. It begins with a foreword by Michael A. Olivas, author of the seminal text Latino College Students (1986). Olivas describes how far scholarly research has come since his body of work on Latino/a college students and the importance of HSIs in serving this population cannot be underestimated. In chapter 1, Núñez, Hurtado, and Calderón Galdeano discuss the importance of studying HSIs. The text delves into “new research and to advance the study of HSIs as complex organizations . . . including demographic change, increased institutional accountability, and resource constraints” (p. 3). The authors provide historical context for the designation of HSIs, most importantly describing how these institutions were not originally enacted as HSIs, but evolved from the continued enrollment growth of Latino/a students at colleges and universities and in highly populated Hispanic geographic communities.
In chapter 2, Hurtado and Ruiz Alvarado describe the potential of HSIs, with specific attention to institutional identity and transformation. The authors posit that HSIs should prioritize Latino/a students identities at the center by utilizing an adapted Multi-contextual Model for Diverse Learning Environments (MMDLE) originally developed by Hurtado and associates, which focuses on institutional climate, practices and student outcomes. Núñez, Crisp, and Elizondo detail the role of Hispanic-serving community colleges and their role in postsecondary transfer for Hispanic students in chapter 3. They provide a review of the literature on 2-year HSIs, characteristics of students enrolling at these institutions, and individual and institutional factors with regard to transfer. In chapter 4, Núñez and Elizondo focus on institutional diversity among 4-year HSIs. The relationship between institutional characteristics and student outcomes are also addressed. Researchers found various differences at public 4-year HSIs, including that close to half of all 4-year HSIs are public institutions, emphasize undergraduate education, and are relatively open access. Comparisons between Puerto Rican and mainland HSIs are also discussed.
In chapter 5, García makes the case for using organizational theory to study HSIs. [End Page 228] She provides a review of various theories (resource dependence theory, population ecology, institutional theory, and social movement theory) and their application to organizational identity and culture. García contends using organizational theory aids HSIs in “adjusting their policies, programs, and practices in order to adequately serve Latinas/os and other students of color” (p. 93). Cuellar, in chapter 6, explores Latino/a student characteristics and outcomes at 4-year HSIs, emerging HSIs, and non-HSIs. She contends that students attending HSIs have better outcomes with academic self-concept, yet demonstrated growth in social agency across all three institutional contexts. Moving from students to faculty, Gonzales discusses how faculty can reshape the legitimization of knowledge at HSIs in chapter 7. She describes that faculty utilizing the funds of knowledge pedagogical framework can tap into students’ wealth of social and cultural capital they bring to the classroom, thus strengthening their academic experience.
Chapter 8 explores how five institutional leaders enacted institutional change at one HSI in Texas, which contributed to Latino/a student success. Cortez found that after interviewing the five leaders, the following institutional structures were critical to students’ supportive campus environment: (a) culturally sensitive leadership, (b) student-centered services, and (c) intensive academic and career advising (p. 140). The financial resiliency of HSIs is the focus of chapter 9. Ortega, Frye, Nellum, Kamimura, and Vidal-Rodríguez tackle the decline of federal appropriations in HSIs, although there has been...