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Concordia Awarded $3 Million Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grant


Irvine, CA., Oct. 19, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program awarded Concordia University Irvine a $3 million grant, the largest federal grant in the university’s history. Concordia’s grant-winning initiative is titled "Avanzando: Access and Success" and will enhance support services for undergraduate Hispanic students.

“We at Concordia are thrilled to receive our first ever federal HSI grant,” said university vice president Dr. Peter Senkbeil. “It will be transformative for our campus and will help us serve our Hispanic students – and all our students – more effectively. This grant enables us to provide support to help students thrive in college and beyond.”

The HSI grant will help Concordia meet the needs of its growing Hispanic population. In 2016, Concordia organized a Hispanic Leadership Advisory Council that meets quarterly to advise the university and coordinate the annual Hispanic Leadership Conference. In Fall 2019, Concordia’s undergraduate student body was over 25% Hispanic for the first time, and the undergraduate Hispanic population has continued to grow since then. To better support these students, the “Avanzando: Access and Success” program includes comprehensive strategies to improve Hispanic student retention (Access) and graduation rates (Success).

The HSI grant provides funding over the next five years. Concordia’s HSI grant-funded activities will include:

  • Increase enrollment and early success of Hispanic students and other targeted populations, such as first generation and low-income students, by developing a community outreach program and creating a sense of “belonging” on campus.
  • Increase retention and graduation rates for Hispanic students and other targeted populations through expanded student services.
  • Hire four new employees: an HSI success coordinator/project director, a transfer coordinator/success coach, a tutoring coordinator/success coach, and a career services coordinator.

“We are grateful for the blessings of the HSI grant as it allows us to expand our mission. Through this grant, we will increase access for Hispanic students to a life of learning, service, and leadership. This is an opportunity to increase Hispanic enrollment and further support the success of current students through the expansion of already existing programs like Wings and the Summer Bridge," said Dr. Blanca Quiroz, Associate Professor, Doctoral Program in the School of Education.

Concordia is committed to advancing access and success for all students, and to supporting all students’ overall well-being, as the university seeks to help them develop as wise, honorable, cultivated citizens. While federal guidelines do not permit funds from this grant to be used for direct scholarships for students, the grant will fund additional student success staff and facilities that will support Concordia’s growing Hispanic population and its whole student body.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine, part of the Concordia University System, is a private, nonprofit Christian university that is proud to be one of the founding institutions of higher education in Irvine, California. For nearly 50 years, we have prepared students for lives of learning, service, and leadership through distinctive Lutheran education. Today, we educate nearly 4,000 students on campus and online, and our alumni network has grown to over 25,000 worldwide. We’re recognized as a top-ranked university for Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report and a fierce NCAA Division II PacWest competitor. Learn more about our mission, community, and heritage.

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