Although Texas as a whole has always had a high percentage of Hispanics, the rural areas of North Central Texas have only recently experienced this rapid growth. Located on the Texas/Oklahoma border, the Hispanic population at Grayson College grew by 82% between 2000 and 2010 as compared to a 9.3% growth of the total student population. Grayson College created the Hispanic Initiative Program (HIP) to address the needs of this new demographic.
Initially, the College sought to respond proactively to this new demographic trend by creating a part-time position focused on Hispanic student recruitment. The position initially functioned as a typical recruiter. Due to noted cultural differences, it became necessary to retool presentations, inclusive of family members, to promote the concept of going to college and to establish a basis of trust. Two access and equity specialists are now employed, responsible for establishing relations with Hispanic middle and high school students. HIP's long term encouragement and support has resulted in a mutual trust between the college staff, students, and parents, which continues throughout the student’s college experience. Today, Hispanic students comprise over 8% of the College's total enrollment. Further, in 2011, the ATT Foundation recognized the HIP program with a $10,000 grant to purchase a mobile hotspot and IPads for presentations in sites with no computer access.
The HIP’s mission is to intensify recruitment of first generation Hispanic students and to diminish barriers that prevent enrollment into higher education. Specifically, the goals are (1) to proactively address the Hispanic shift, (2) to seek collaborations with middle schools/high schools by dedicating resources, (3) to redesign the gateway to postsecondary education, (4) to encourage families to support the concept of going to college immediately after high school, and (5) to enhance partnerships with other four-year colleges to strengthen the pipeline of Hispanic transfer students.
Program components have been replicated targeting African American and Native American students. Further, full-time Hispanic students increased 528.6% between Fall 2000-2010.The information below demonstrates the Hispanic student enrollment increases at Grayson College from 2002-2011.
• 2002-03: 251 Hispanic Students; 3.4% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2003-04: 330 Hispanic Students; 4.1% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2004-05: 341 Hispanic Students; 4.3% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2005-06: 382 Hispanic Students; 5% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2006-07: 442 Hispanic Students; 5.6% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2007-08: 463 Hispanic Students; 6.1% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2008-09: 517 Hispanic Students; 6.2% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2009-10: 617 Hispanic Students; 6.5% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment • 2010-11: 857 Hispanic Students; 8% of the Spring/Fall Enrollment
This program was recognized as an Honorable Mention for making innovative and/or significant improvement in increasing Latino student success.