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Southern Adventist University Only Designated Hispanic-Serving Institution in Tennessee

Photo of Southern Adventist University Hispanic student in native attire

Photo provided by Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University recently announced that it is the only institution in Tennessee designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. The designation comes from the federal government, which considers colleges and universities with Hispanic student enrollment of 25 percent or higher to be Hispanic-serving institutions. Schools with the designation also qualify to apply for select funds that help expand and enhance academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

Last year, Southern was selected to receive $3 million over five years as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (DHSI). Goals established by Southern as part of the grant include increasing financial aid education and STEM-career inspiration among local high school students and their families, improving student retention and workforce readiness once enrolled in college, and boosting graduation rates.

“This grant allows Southern to strengthen support services and make institutional changes that will benefit all students, especially ones with significant challenges to achieving their dreams to graduate. This includes Hispanic, low-income, and other student groups who have historically struggled to graduate,” shares Kimberly Crider, Southern’s DHSI project manager.

In addition to serving the Hispanic community, Southern is known for being a diverse and international campus overall, ranked as the second most diverse regional university in the South by U.S. News & World Report. This ranking identifies institutions where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.

With several active cultural clubs on campus and numerous opportunities for students to experience cultures around the world through studying abroad and student missions, Southern strives to encourage students to develop socio-emotional maturity so they can be effective leaders and contributing members of a global society.