Survey: Latino Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions with Inclusive Environments and Strong Support Systems and Career Services Have More Successful Careers and Personal Well-Being

September 11, 2018

For information contact:
Jenny Chang, (for Excelencia in Education)

Jennifer Donegan, (for Gallup)


Survey by Gallup and Excelencia in Education reveals how HSIs and all colleges and universities
can accelerate Latino student success by replicating evidence-based programs and strategies

New York, NY – Latino graduates of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) that have inclusive environments with strong support systems and career services to help Latino students succeed are more likely than the general college-education population to have fulfilling professional, personal, and social lives, according to a new Gallup and Excelencia in Education survey released today.

Leveraging Excelencia in Education’s expertise in applying a Latino lens to higher education research and data, the survey, Examining Life Outcomes Among Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, marks the first time Gallup’s alumni outcomes research has focused on a specific group of HSIs. More than 65 percent of all Latino students attend HSIs), which unlike other minority-serving institutions are classified on the basis of their enrollment of Latinos rather than an explicit mission to serve their Latino students. HSIs account for 14% of all colleges and universities.

The study surveyed graduates of a group of twelve HSIs in the Excelencia in Action Network, a national network of postsecondary institutions committed to preparing Latino students with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities needed to succeed in the workforce and their communities. Looking at long-term success, the study measured outcomes of HSI and non-HSI graduates on traditional metrics such as employment rates and income levels, as well as nontraditional metrics including community engagement and well-being. The twelve HSIs included California State University, Sacramento, Texas Woman’s University, and Northeastern Illinois University among others. These institutions were selected because of their implementation of evidence-based programs and strategies, such as mentoring, experiential learning, and actively engaged professors that have been proven to accelerate Latino student success and degree completion.

Latinos are one of the fastest growing demographics in the US, expected to grow to 28% of the population by 2060 from 18% today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16% of Latino adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher - a rate significantly lower than their white (36%), black (23%) and Asian (54%) peers. Yet notably, college enrollment has increased from 22% to 37% among Latino students between 2000 and 2015, outpacing that of other students of color.

“Ensuring that Latino college students succeed and complete their degrees is critical to our national well-being as well as promoting personal life success," said Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education. “This study clearly shows that by offering both academic and social support for Latino students and by creating more inclusive environments, proactive higher education institutions can equip Latino graduates with the skills, knowledge, and opportunity they need to succeed in the long-term.”

“Leaders of all postsecondary institutions should consider how to lay the groundwork for Latino student success,” said Brandon Busteed, Gallup senior partner and global head, public sector. “Wherever they are enrolled, but especially at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latino students benefit long-term from rich experiential learning opportunities and strong relationships with faculty, staff and other mentors. Indeed, in certain areas Latino graduates of the institutions we surveyed were exceeding non-Latino graduates in having these key experiences on campus. Enabling students in this fast-growing demographic to have these experiences will lead to better outcomes in work and life and will position institutions as incubators of thriving graduates.”

Highlights of the study include:

  • Excelencia network graduates are more likely than college graduates nationally to strongly agree that they have the ideal job for them (26% vs. 22%, respectively) and that their job gives them the opportunity to do work that interests them (41% vs. 37%).
  • Excelencia network graduates are more likely than college graduates nationally to strongly agree that they have the ideal job for them (26% vs. 22%, respectively) and that their job gives them the opportunity to do work that interests them (41% vs. 37%).
  • One in four Excelencia network graduates (26%) strongly agree that their alma mater is passionate about the long-term success of its students, higher than other HSI graduates (22%). More than one-third (36%) strongly agree that their professors cared about them as a person — higher than college graduates nationally (32%) as well as other HSI graduates (28%).
  • Excelencia network graduates believe their alma mater created an inclusive environment for the success of all students.
  • There are areas of opportunity that could further support graduates in finding jobs and learning skills that carry over into the workplace. Among the 59% of Excelencia network graduates who visited career services at least once, nearly half said their career services office was helpful or very helpful — higher than both comparison groups. But among those who visited at least once, two-thirds (66%) found it difficult or very difficult to access — regardless of transfer status, ethnicity or first-generation college student (FGCS) status.
  • Only 7% of Excelencia network graduates had all three high-impact experiential learning opportunities identified by Gallup — lower than college graduates nationally (11%).

The survey drew on the Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey, formerly the Gallup-Purdue Index, a nationally representative study of nearly 80,000 U.S. four-year college graduates, to benchmark the institutions in Excelencia in Education’s network against the national and HSI average.

Commissioned by Excelencia in Education with the support of Strada Education Network, the report is based on 14,320 survey respondents of college graduates who received their bachelor’s degree from a member of the Excelencia Network between 2000 and 2017. Excelencia in Education has working relationships with leaders at the participating institutions through various efforts related to Latino student success. All participating institutions use evidence-based programs and resources to accelerate Latino student success and are part of the Excelencia in Action network (E-Action). Collectively, this population appears as “Excelencia network graduates” throughout the report.

About Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet our mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia is building a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. For more information, visit:

About Gallup
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world. For more information, visit