Our institutions continually strive to recruit the best students from all ethnicities. Having a diverse student body not only enhances the social development of our students, it promotes creative thinking and prepares them to work in a global society.
Nevada is no longer a state with an ethnic majority. From 2002 to 2012, the gap between enrolled white and minority students in NSHE shrunk from 39 percent to seven percent. Not only are more minority students starting their college educations, more are achieving their dreams of finishing. Over a 10-year period, the number of awards (degrees and certificates) earned has increased by 171 percent.
As a testament to that progress, one of our major accomplishments in recent days was the College of Southern Nevada receiving the designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The first of our institutions, and one of 370 nationwide, to receive this federal designation, CSN's student population is 27 percent Hispanic. The Department of Education's requirement is 25 percent.
Reaching HSI status enables CSN to apply for grants that could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the college to improve its student success programs.
Within NSHE, we currently have five emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions: Nevada State College; Truckee Meadows Community College; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Nevada, Reno; and Western Nevada College.
As part of our commitment to help all of our institutions reach HSI status, we have created a System-level HSI Task Force focused on providing a statewide view of best practices, with full collaboration of our teaching institutions. Working together, we hope to glean ideas from one another on how to best compete for valuable federal dollars that can benefit all NSHE students.
Recently, we hosted a Grantsmanship Writing Workshop and invited the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) to educate campus and community representatives on the conceptual and legislative framework of planning to apply for HSI grants. I am pleased to announce the event was very informative and well attended by both institutional and community stakeholders.
In our efforts to create a more inclusive environment within our institutions, it is important to remind ourselves that student success lies at the heart of all we do. If we enroll students, we must help them complete their academic programs. CSN's designation as an HSI is a critical step forward in providing the necessary resources to achieve that objective for the communities it serves.