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NSF Announces Plans for Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Program

Building Capacity at Hispanic Serving Institutions
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce plans to establish a program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in FY 2018, as stated in the President's FY 2018 Budget Request to Congress. This program will focus on undergraduate STEM education at HSIs.

Actions to Date
NSF has taken several actions to seek community input to inform the new HSI program, including releasing a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), awarding conference grants, establishing the Building Capacity at Hispanic Serving Institutions Subcommittee of the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Advisory Committee, and conducting three listening sessions.

  • Dear Colleague Letter
    On June 6, 2017, NSF released a DCL announcing its intention to establish an HSI program. NSF invited the submission of conference proposals to identify challenges and opportunities regarding undergraduate STEM education at two-year and four-year HSIs.

    There were two submission deadline dates posted in the DCL: July 6, 2017, and September 30, 2017.

  • Conference Awards
    NSF made four awards from the proposals submitted for the July 6, 2017, deadline of the DCL. The awards are:

    • 1748199: HSI Conference: Hispanic-focused STEM Ideas for Inspiration and Innovation, Nova Southeastern University, FL (scheduled for December, 2017)
    • 1748526: HSI Conference: Transforming STEM Education in Hispanic Serving Institutions - Regional Insights from the Southwest; University of Arizona, AZ (scheduled for November 18-20, 2017)
    • 1748533: HSI Conference: Understanding and Improving Readiness and Student Transitions, University of Houston, TX (scheduled for February, 2018)
    • 1748570: HSI Conference: Pathways for Hispanic Students in STEM, University of California-Irvine, CA (scheduled for January, 2018)

    A one-page summary of these awards may be found here: HSI Conference Awards At-A-Glance

    Proposals submitted through September 30, 2017, are eligible for funding in FY18.

  • Subcommittee Meeting
    On August 14, 2017, the EHR Advisory Committee convened a Subcommittee to discuss Building Capacity at Hispanic Serving Institutions. The Subcommittee consisted of a cross-section of campus leaders from 16 HSIs, charged with providing NSF with advice that will inform the design of the new program. The Subcommittee members represented diverse geographic regions, public and private institutions, and large and small schools. The Subcommittee prepared a report and submitted it to the EHR Advisory Committee on September 22, 2017. The EHR Advisory Committee met to receive, deliberate upon, and accept the report on September 29, 2017. The final report is posted below.


  • Listening Sessions
    To engage the broader HSI academic community - two- and four-year HSIs - in the discussion on designing the new program, NSF held three listening sessions in mid-August 2017. The purpose of the sessions was to gather feedback from the community regarding critical barriers and opportunities at their institutions. More than 300 participants from more than 100 institutions logged in to the listening sessions.

NSF will continue to post updates on the progress of developing the HSI program. Members of the public are invited to send their comments about the report or about the development of the new program to nsf-ehr-hsi@nsf.gov.