Hispanic-Serving Institution Progress, 2020

Since its launch in 2016, the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) initiative has been a strategic institutional priority. One of the primary goals of HSI is to increase our Latinx undergraduate enrollment to 25% of the student body. But the initiative is about more than just enrollment numbers; this endeavor is about making Marquette a more welcoming and inclusive space for all our diverse stakeholders. HSI speaks to the very heart of our values as a Jesuit institution: to serve the traditionally underserved, to provide care for each of our students, and to strive for inclusive excellence.  

Through community and alumni engagement, diversifying our curricular and co-curricular programming, promoting educational opportunities to explore issues related to race and bias, and linguistically and culturally responsive outreach, recruitment, and support, HSI efforts - and the tireless efforts of dedicated faculty, staff, and students - we are moving the needle in the right direction. Since 2016, we have made progress in the following areas:   

  • Between 2016-2020, the percentage of Latinx undergraduates rose from 10.6% to 14.8%. In the 2020-21 academic year, both the undergraduate and graduate student bodies are the most diverse in the history of Marquette.  For current demographic information on Marquette University students, faculty, and staff, visit the composition dashboard.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continues this great work with the creation of the Community Ambassadors program for near-peer outreach to local high schools, on-site admissions for six local schools, transfer articulation agreements with two-year institutions, and added transitional support.  
  • In addition to the $33 million in financial aid that Marquette is providing Latinx students in the 2020-21 academic year, other efforts to support students financially have included the establishment of an Emergency Fund for low-income students, $200,000+ raised for the Ellacuría Scholarship for undocumented students by 2020, and up to $30,000 in matching funds for Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) scholarships offered to Marquette students.  
  • Marquette has made inroads in community-engaged efforts through the help of an HSI Community Advisory Board and the HSI-Network of Wisconsin, of which Marquette is a founding member, and partnerships with local schools such as Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. 
  • Our capacity for Spanish-language outreach has increased with admissions events such as Mi Casa Es Tu Casa and  Se Puede, simultaneous interpretation for families during SPARK and Orientation, the hiring of Spanish-speakers in the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Marketing and Communication, the establishment of Spanish social media and the soon-to-launch Marquette en español Spanish website.  
  • We offer many programs that provide direct support for underrepresented students through the RISE program for students of color, the support of mutual student support groups such as the Minority Mentors program, and other programming and direct support offered through the Office of Engagement and Inclusion and other Division of Student Affairs units. 
  • The Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM), Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, and Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, among others, have long been established student organizations on Marquette’s campus. Recent student-led initiatives resulted in the formation of several new Hispanic/Latinx-focused student organizations: PALMA (Professional Association of Latinx for Medical School Access) and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens). Students also have the opportunity to obtain sponsorships to attend national conferences as well as apply for travel grants to engage in study abroad opportunities through the Wings Scholarship.
  • The HSI initiative supported the launch of the cluster hiring process for the Race, Ethnic, and Indigenous Studies (REIS) program, which resulted in a total of 21 tenure track faculty hires over three years, who bring critical expertise to the university, including in the area of Latinx Studies. 
  • Course offerings have diversified not only through the REIS program, but also the use of faculty grants for diverse curricular development.  
  • We provide co-curricular opportunities for employees and students to discuss issues related to race and bias, such as through Unlearning Racism - a partnership with the YWCA, implicit bias workshops, workshops hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning around inclusive classroom spaces, and public forums such as the HSI Day of Reflection, the Symposium on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, and programming associated with the Marquette Forum. 
  • We support equity-minded hiring practices through workshops for search committees and a recently developed guidance aimed at increasing representation of underrepresented employees We also support the retention of diverse employees through the administration of Employee Resource Groups.
  • The University Engagement team, in collaboration with the HSI initiative, launched the Hispanic Alumni Association in fall of 2019.
  • We seek to beautify and diversify our campus spaces through collaboration on the Cultural Audit and campus mural projects.  

We are proud of the progress being made, but the work is nowhere near done. We will continue to work to recruit, support, and graduate an increasingly diverse body of students at Marquette.  

For more information about the HSI initiative, please contact Jacki Black, associate director for Hispanic initiatives, at jacqueline.black@marquette.edu