February 13, 2007 at 8:45 PM CST - Updated July 10 at 11:15 PM
Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a member of the Health, Education Labor and Pension Committee, today introduced the Next Generation Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Act, legislation to establish an HSI graduate program.
"Hispanic-Serving Institutions strengthen our educational system and enhance academic opportunities," said Sen. Hutchison. "This legislation builds on the early success of HSIs to create a graduate program which will help open new doors for our students."
The legislation provides fellowships and support services for graduate students as well as facility and faculty improvements. It provides new technology for distance education and collaborative arrangements with other institutions. In addition, the legislation increases the authorization of the current HSI program to $175 million and authorizes $125 million for the new HSIs graduate program for Fiscal year 2008.
Sen. Hutchison organized and serves as the co-chair of the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Coalition in the Senate. Under her leadership, HSI funding has increased more than 800 percent since Fiscal Year 1995. This funding has allowed more of the 42 HSIs in Texas to receive development grants.
In November 2006, Sen. Hutchison passed a resolution that recognizes the national role of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as an advocate and champion for Hispanic higher education and congratulates the organization on its 20th anniversary. The resolution further applauds HSIs for their work to provide quality education for all students and encourages the institutions and their supporters to continue their outstanding efforts.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities was founded in San Antonio, Texas with 18 founding member institutions. The organization has grown to include 207 certified HSIs, 126 associate members, 79 partners and over 45 institutions in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Certified HSIs currently enroll more than half of all Hispanic students in college.