Woodbury University Among U.S. Hispanic-Serving Institutions Receiving White House Recognition

Citing National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week Sept. 12-18, Obama Administration Affirms Commitment to HSIs

BURBANK, Calif. (September 20, 2016) – Just ahead of Hispanic Heritage Month, the White House has recognized Woodbury University, along with more than 400 other colleges and universities across the country whose Hispanic student population exceeds 25 percent.

On Sept. 9, President Obama issued a proclamation designating September 12-18 as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week.  Each year, Hispanic-Serving Institutions from around the country celebrate HSIs Week with on-campus activities.

Hispanics currently comprise 26.4 percent of the undergraduate population at Woodbury, and California is home to 152 HSIs.  As defined by the Higher Education Act, an HIS is a degree-granting institution with a full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment that is at least 25 percent Hispanic.

“Across our country, HSIs have helped Hispanic students — many of whom are the first in their family to go to college — earn a college degree,” President Obama said in the proclamation. “This week, we reflect on how these important institutions have helped Hispanic students reach for their dreams, and we reaffirm our commitment to supporting them for generations to come… More than half of America’s Hispanic undergraduates attend HSIs, which have played a critical role in increasing access to a college education and have worked to bolster enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.” To read the full proclamation, click here.

“Woodbury is proud to be a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and of our historic commitment to diversity,” said Dr. David Steele-Figueredo, Woodbury University President.  “As the President’s proclamation noted, in the last several years, college enrollment among Hispanics hit a record high, and today, it continues to grow.”

“HACU thanks the President for recognizing the contributions of Hispanic-Serving institutions in educating the future workforce of this nation,” said HACU president and CEO Antonio R. Flores.  In 1992, HACU led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses.

According to HACU, more than three million Hispanics were enrolled in non-profit institutions in 2014, including Puerto Rico.  In 2014, 435 institutions met the federal enrollment criterion, enrolling 1.8 million Hispanics.  HSIs include nearly 13 percent of non-profit colleges and universities, but enroll nearly 22 percent of all students and roughly 61 percent of all Hispanic students.  As of 2014, approximately one-third of Hispanics 25 and over had not completed high school, compared to about 7 percent of non-Hispanic whites.  Fifteen percent of Hispanics have at least a bachelor’s degree and just under 5 percent an advanced degree, compared to 36 percent and 13 percent for non-Hispanic whites.  Some 70 percent of Hispanic high school graduates ages 16-24 were enrolled in college in 2012, compared to 66 percent for whites.

Overall, Hispanics comprise 17.3 percent of the U.S. population.  The Hispanic community experienced 50 percent growth from 2000-2012, largest of all population groups except Asian-Americans.

A complete list of Hispanic-Serving Institutions can be found here.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California.  The university ranks 15th among the nation’s “25 Colleges That Add the Most Value,” according to Money Magazine, and is a 2016-17 College of Distinction.  With campuses in Burbank/Los Angeles and San Diego, the university offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Liberal Arts, along with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture. The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, as well as a Master of Architecture degree with a concentration in Real Estate Development.  Visit woodbury.edu for more information.


Media Contact:
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(323) 469-3397
[email protected]


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