COVER-Tapping Latino Talent - How HSIs Are Preparing Latino Students for the Workforce

Tapping Latino Talent: How HSIs are Preparing Latino Students for the Workforce

Janette Martinez
July 2020


Institutions that know who they are serving, like the ones featured in this report, can more readily adapt to serve their students best - especially in challenging times.

Latinos’ degree attainment and skill development are important to our nation’s need for a competitive workforce and strong civic leadership. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) enroll the majority of Latino students (67%) and thus can play an integral part in Latino students’ academic success and workforce preparation. Trendsetting HSIs are continuously adapting their efforts to support students’ strengths and meet their needs.

Excelencia in Education collaborated with practitioners at four trendsetting HSIs and their employer partners to learn how they are preparing their students to enter into the workforce and remain competitive:

  1. Felician University (New Jersey)
  2. Florida International University (Florida)
  3. CUNY Lehman College (New York)
  4. Texas Woman’s University (Texas)

This brief was ready to be released before the Covid-19 pandemic. Excelencia followed up with the leaders of these four institutions to learn how they shifted their efforts in order to serve their students.


Five strategies to SERVE that were consistent across the institutions are detailed in this brief:

  1. Workforce preparation is a goal across campus, not just the role of the career services offices.
  2. The institutions have adapted to changes in workforce demands and changes in their student bodies.
  3. Institutions are emphasizing experiential learning opportunities in and outside the classroom to expand access to hands-on learning.
  4. Institutions are revamping their workforce efforts based on data and using data to continually evolve.
  5. The institutions work with local employers to meet the needs of the region and make the transition from school to work easier for their students.



Webinar Presenters:
Deborah Santiago, CEO, Excelencia in Education (moderator)
Janette Martinez, Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Excelencia in Education
Nicolas Valencia Diaz, Biomedical Engineering student, Florida International University
Patricia Roe, Vice President of Philanthropy, Strada Education Network
Mark Rosenberg, President, Florida International University and Excelencia President for Latino Student Success


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