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Introduction

The Developing Hispanic–Serving Institutions (HSI) Program is authorized under Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).  The purposes of the program are to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students, and to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability of the colleges and universities that educate the majority of Hispanic students and help large numbers of Hispanic and other low-income students complete postsecondary degrees.  

In order to receive a grant under the Title V program, an institution of higher education must have applied for and been designated as an eligible institution.  The Notice Inviting Applications for  Designation as an Eligible Institution was published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2009 (74 FR 3579).  In addition, to basic eligibility requirements, an institution must have at least 25 percent enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent (FTE) Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.  

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program awards Individual Development Grants (one eligible Hispanic-Serving Institution) and Cooperative Development Grants (an eligible Hispanic-Serving Institution in cooperation with one or more institutions of higher education).

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program supports many institutional activities including:  purchase of equipment for education and research; improvement of instruction facilities (construction, maintenance, renovation); faculty and staff development; curriculum revision and development; purchase of educational materials; improvement of telecommunication capacity; enhancement of student services; enhancement of administrative and funds management systems; establishment or improvement of a development office; creation or enhancement of community outreach programs for elementary and secondary students; and establishment or increase of an institutional endowment fund.

Note:  The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) amended section 503(b) of the HEA by expanding the list of authorized activities.  This list was expanded to also include:  activities to improve student services, including innovative and customized instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students into core courses; articulation agreements and student support programs designed to facilitate the transfer of students from two-year to four-year institutions; and providing education, counseling services, and financial information designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students or their families.  The list of authorized activities in section 503(b) was also amended to use the term “distance education technologies” in place of “distance learning academic instruction capabilities.”  

The Notice Inviting Applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2009 was published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2009.  The deadline for the transmittal of applications was June 15, 2009.  

As required by the Department of Education, applications for grants under the FY 2009 Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant competition were submitted electronically using the department’s Internet-based application system (e-Application) via http://e-grants.ed.gov.  

As our nation’s population becomes more vibrant and diverse, the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program remains committed to ensuring that underrepresented students have equal access to optimal education and training.  In a global economy, future contributions of these students will be significant to the overall competitiveness of our nation.  This paper summarizes the abstracts for new awards funded under the FY 2009 appropriation.  

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