Purdue University Northwest designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by U.S. Department of Education

Purdue University Northwest designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by U.S. Department of Education

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) has earned official designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). This designation makes PNW the largest HSI in the state of Indiana.

Upon completion of assessment, the U.S. DOE designates colleges and universities as HSIs that have enrolled at least 25% of undergraduate full-time students who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. Since the 2022-23 academic year, PNW has enrolled a full-time undergraduate student population that is over 25% Latino. Within that population, approximately 70% are first-generation students. PNW’s enrollment figures also show it serves the most Latino students among all Northwest Indiana higher education institutions.

“Purdue University Northwest is tremendously proud to earn this designation and represent our metropolitan region and Indiana as the Purdue University system’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution,” said PNW Chancellor Kenneth C. Holford. “It is central to our institutional mission and strategic plan to provide a high-quality academic and learning environment that is welcoming, inclusive and supportive of all students and their backgrounds. We are excited for the continued progress of our Latino and first-generation students at PNW.”

Higher education institutions designated as HSIs become eligible for several federal programs and grants intended to enhance academic, on-campus and professional development opportunities for all students. In 2023, the Biden-Harris administration awarded more than $40 million to HSIs around the U.S. to expand educational opportunities and improve retention for Latino students.

“At PNW, we understand that the core responsibility of an HSI is to intentionally serve Latino students and their families by embracing the richness of each background and culture to enhance the student and family experience,” said Elizabeth Babcock Depew, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “From K-12 engagement to recruitment through graduation and career, PNW is committed to serving the needs of our metropolitan region. We are very excited about the opportunities our HSI designation presents to expand our strong relationships with local school districts to encourage future generations, as well as to expand on-campus programming and student support services to increase student retention and ultimate graduation. Hispanic-Serving Institution is not only a designation, it is a commitment to empowering students and their families through education and opportunity.”

Regional and national leaders praised PNW’s intentional efforts to advance higher education opportunities for Latino students and help them persist to their degrees.

Congressman Frank Mrvan stated, “Congratulations to all the leaders at Purdue University Northwest on this outstanding announcement to successfully be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. I look forward to continuing to build on this initiative and appreciate the tremendous academic services and career opportunities that PNW provides to all students throughout our region.”

“Identity is something to be celebrated, especially at Purdue University Northwest," said Indiana State Rep. Mike Andrade, co-chair of the PNW Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives Advisory Board. "I am proud that PNW has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the federal government, as I have witnessed firsthand how Latino and Hispanic students bring something unique to this university and our community. The diverse backgrounds, cultures and viewpoints of Hispanic and Latino students strengthen PNW and ultimately enrich our nation.”

“Congratulations to Chancellor Holford and the institutional team at Purdue University Northwest for achieving Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) status and for demonstrating a steadfast commitment to accelerating Latino student success by joining the Presidents for Latino Student Success network," said Deborah A. Santiago, Excelencia in Education CEO. "Excelencia is honored to make common cause with an action-oriented, trendsetting chancellor who has answered our national call to intentionally serve Latino, and all, students in higher education and ensure America’s future.”

Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to empowering transformational change in our students and in our community. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.