What is “HSI”?
In 2015, Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) was designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, which reflects our undergraduate enrollment of Latin/Hispanic students. SWAU is one of three Adventist universities to become a HSI. Due to this title, SWAU faculty, staff, and students are eligible to apply for Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) grants, internships, and partnerships.
Southwestern Adventist University has developed “Southwestern Success” a project that addresses identified needs of Hispanic students, as well as low-income and high-need students, in order to enable students to complete a college degree. Specifically, our Southwestern Success: a.) refocuses the recruiting program to “Recruit for Success” by presenting the complete pathway new students will be taking through their college experience; b.) implements a First-Year Experience Program for all first-time freshmen; c.) furthers the development of our academic internship program to include on-campus employment as well as academic semester, summer, and vacation internship opportunities; and (d) redefines the curriculum in order to lead students to increased job satisfaction after graduation. When taken together, these activities will enable systemic change at Southwestern Adventist University and, increase the number of Hispanic, low-income, and high-need students who continue at the institution and graduate. Our measurable goals include:
Goal 1: Increase the one-year retention rate for our first-year cohort from 64% (2019) by 16% to 80% by 2023.
Goal 2: Increase the four-year graduation rate (25%) by 15% to 40% by the end of year four, the five-year graduation rate (36%) by 10 % to 46% by the end of year five, and the six-year graduation rate (40%) by 10% to 50% by end of year six.
Goal 3: By the end of year five, the percentage of Hispanic, low-income, and high-need graduates employed in relevant fields or in graduate school within six months of graduation will increase to 90% over a 2018 baseline of 40%.
Our Hispanic, low-income, high-need program was designed to address Competitive Preference Priority #1, using strategies that are based on research from Strata, Gallup, High Point University Experiences, Claflin University and others. Additionally, Competitive Preference Priority #2 will be accomplished by redesigning our curriculum to include information on higher education financing and repayment, as well as other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding responsibility. This strategy has proved effective in increasing student achievement, including retention and graduation rates. The citation is provided below:
Qubein, N. (2019). “Real World 101: A New Paradigm in Higher Education.” Retrieved from www.highpoint.edu/president/seminar-on-life-skills
Learn more about to Pathways to Success
Title III Part F
Southwestern Adventist has developed “STEM Excellence,” a project that addresses identified needs of Hispanic students, as well as low-income and high-need students, in Biology and other STEM disciplines, enabling them to complete a college degree and to shorten their time to completion. Specifically, STEM Excellence will: a) add an additional dimension to our Ecology and Conservation emphasis in Biology by creating additional upper division courses with additional faculty to strengthen the program; b) redefine the Biology curriculum as a flexible, integrative degree path that will lead students into a broad range of new internship and career opportunities within the world of biological sciences; c) create programs of support for first-year STEM students through enhanced faculty advising, preventative tracking of student challenges, and the creation of a peer Course Navigators program to assist in advising, offering course-specific tutoring, and leading supplemental instruction for fundamental math concepts.
Our measurable goals include:
Goal 1: Increase the number of STEM majors from an average of 23 (2014-2020) to 35 majors by 2026.
Goal 2: Increase the number of Biology majors from an average of 13 (2014-2020) to 25 by 2026.
Goal 3: Increase the one-year average retention rate (2014-2019) for our first-year Biology cohort from 70% to 80% by 2026.
Goal 4: Increase the four-year graduation rate (average 29%, 2014-2017) by the end of year four; the five-year graduation rate (61%, 2015) by 10% by the end of year five, and the six-year graduation rate (31%, 2014) by 40 % by the end of year six.
Goal 5: By the end of year five, the percentage of Hispanic, and all STEM graduates employed in relevant fields or in graduate school within six months of graduation will increase to at least 95% by 2026.
STEM Excellence program is also designed to address the Invitational Priority, which will be accomplished by increasing capacity for mental health services, as well as leading faculty, staff, and key student leaders through mental health workshops, allowing them to be able to identify and address early signs of mental illness. Additional mental health support will be available in the occurrence of mass causalities and major trauma.
Since this is a new program, our measurable goal is to:
• Invitational Priority Goal: Train 75% of the faculty, staff, and student leaders by 2022 and 100% thereafter each year, including new hires.