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Strategic Planning

During Phase 1 of our strategic planning process, the university developed Vision Elements and Key Actions. To accomplish UNC’s vision for 2030, becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution was highlighted as a critical component of our Students First and Empowering Inclusivity Vision Elements.

In Phase 2 of UNC's strategic plan, our community continues this work through the following key action items:

  • Key Action 1: Ensure the entire university is well prepared to serve and be successful in nurturing the growth of every student by meeting them where they are with services, tools, resources, engagement and opportunities that help them to thrive in exploring, expanding and achieving their ambitions and fullest potential.
  • Key Action 3: Foster a community and culture wherein all students, faculty and staff feel welcome and included, safe and valued in order to nurture a vibrant and constructive environment well suited to collective and individual success.

Key Moments On Our Journey

Our working Definition of Servingness

The University of Northern Colorado is a Students First university committed to serving Hispanic, Chicana/o/x, and Latina/o/x-identifying students, faculty, staff, alumni, the local community, and our region. Based on the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging, we will develop and implement policies, structures, and culturally responsive pedagogy and practices to increase the educational and career attainment, as well as social mobility, of these populations. Through the success of being a federally designated HSI combined with the thoughtful and intentional effort of servingness by all members of the university community, we will contribute to the success of every student while making gains in closing educational equity gaps present at our university. In addition, UNC will continue its long tradition of preparing and graduating leaders who serve and enrich Colorado's culture and economy. We know that doing so will positively impact people's lives and the future of our state.

Key Events and Programs

On our journey toward becoming Colorado's Next Hispanic Serving Institution, key partners have come to share insight and celebrate institutional accomplishments. These events were strategically recorded to highlight the efforts and to share the work with members of the UNC and Colorado communities who weren't able to attend.

Hispanic Serving Institutions In Practice: A Guide

Dr. Gina Garcia is a leading scholar on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) who is dedicated to advocating with and for HSIs in order to transform colleges and universities that serve the most diverse student populations. On Wednesday, March 23, 2022, Dr. Garcia inspired our UNC community to think critically about how we can achieve equitable graduation rates while also providing a culturally enriching education experience.

UNC: Colorado's Next Hispanic Serving Institution

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, UNC hosted Dr. Roberto Montoya, chief educational equity officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education, for the conclusion of his statewide tour of HSIs. During the event, UNC leadership highlighted long-standing efforts to serve Hispanic/latine-identifying students and celebrated recent institutional accomplishments. Dr. Montoya also took the opportunity to launch Colorado’s statewide consortium of HSIs alongside Dr. Manuel del Real of MSU-Denver.

How We Accomplish our Mission


Cultivating practices centered on access, educational opportunity and social justice


Empowering latine identifying students through a network of support


Cultivating a distinct advantage where diversity and inclusion are celebrated

Fiscal Year 2022-23 Outcomes

After two years of focused planning, conversations with university constituents, and staff and faculty readiness initiatives, Dr. Tobias Guzmán, VP of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has developed the following outcomes for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Fall 2022

  • Appoint one faculty and one staff HSI Fellow to help with the implementation of HSI in academic and administrative communities of practice (Aug. 1)
  • Develop programmatic initiatives that are coordinated across campus, aligned to the mission and servingness definition, and that reflect the Hispanic/latine culture (Sept. 1 — Ongoing)
  • Increase campus and stakeholder communication and establish avenues for communicating objectives, plans, and tactics relevant to establishing an HSI institution (Sept. 20)
  • Use data from the 2022 HSI/DEI survey, other 2022 institutional survey instruments, and Education Advisory Board (EAB) reports to determine future actions and critical areas of emphasis for HSI preparation and readiness (Oct. 1)
  • Articulate UNC's working definitions of HSI and servingness to ensure uniformity across campus and to offer a common point of reference for future, planning, action steps and performance measurement (Oct. 15)
  • Attend the HACU Conference and ask important campus constituents to participate in order to improve learning, networking, and professional ties within the HACU organization (Oct. 15)
  • Form a campus-wide HSI Steering Committee to carry on the preliminary work of the introductory working group which was established in Phase 1 and concluded in Phase 2 (Oct. 31)
  • Identify particular campus units for culturally responsive professional development in order to increase and maintain the number of Hispanic/latine students, faculty and staff at UNC. Examples include: admissions, financial aid, and academic affairs leadership and others (Oct. 31)

Spring 2023

  • Work with University Advancement to design a strategy to increase development activities, alumni and community involvement, and multilingual institutional communication and marketing efforts related to HSI implementation (Jan. 15)
  • Continue engaging campus community through programmatic initiatives that are coordinated and aligned to the mission and servingness definition, and that reflect the Hispanic/latine culture (Feb. 1 — Ongoing)
  • Work with highlighted campus units to develop culturally responsive to increase strategies and tactics that maintain the number of Hispanic/latine students, faculty and staff at UNC (April 1)
  • Gather current qualitative and quantitative data and construct a set of metrics and objectives as we prepare to apply for the Federal Hispanic Serving Institution designation (April 15)
  • Investigate competitive HSI grant funding options with colleagues in the UNC Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, as well as university faculty and staff. Utilize these efforts to clarify capacity-building requirements when applying for highly competitive funding when HSI designation is realized (May 1)


“Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution is more than enrolling latine students. It is about ensuring that all of our students can thrive in their educational journey. This means addressing equity gaps and building capacity to truly serve and prepare new generations of emerging leaders and professionals in Colorado.”

— Jonathan Alcantar, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Chicana/o and latinx Studies