Sacramento State has received notification of being awarded a Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) grant for more than $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education to boost the success of Hispanic and low-income students attending the University and improve retention and graduation rates.

Sacramento State, which was designated an HSI in February 2015, will receive about $480,000 annually over the next five years. Twenty-seven percent of the University’s undergraduate full-time-equivalent students are Hispanic.

U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said President Robert S. Nelsen and the Sacramento State faculty “will put these funds to good use to address the specific needs of this underserved population.”

“The programs that this grant money funds will help Sacramento State students and our region succeed,” Matsui said in announcing the grant.

Nelsen said the HSI funds will help Sacramento State build a sustainable infrastructure to ensure students succeed in a timely fashion.

“I am grateful to Congresswoman Matsui for being a champion for our students at Sacramento State,” Nelsen said. “This award will allow us to develop critical tools to assist our faculty and administrators in making informed decisions regarding course and program design with the goal of increasing student success rates.”

The federal grant specifically will support Sacramento State’s Project INSPIRE (Institutional Networks for Student Success, Peer Programs, and Instructional Redesign Efforts), which will focus on increasing the six-year graduation rate by 12 percent and closing the achievement gap for Hispanic and low-income students.

Project INSPIRE will implement two programs: 

  • The Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success Research will create data to help faculty analyze student outcomes and make improvements at the course level to increase pass rates and reduce the backlog for bottleneck courses. The center also will help program directors and administrators make evidence-based, data-informed management decisions.
  • The Network for Peer-Assisted Student Success will work to increase the number of students who benefit from peer-support programs on campus and ensure sustainable funding sources for those programs.

 – Dixie Reid


In the media: "Growing Latino population nets millions of dollars for Sacramento colleges," The Sacramento Bee