Week 2 Reflections engaging students of color/special purpose institutions

One of the things I love most about American Higher Education is the diversity of institutions we offer as a way to support and empower specific populations. The statistic about HBCUs only representing 3% of the country's institutions, while also being the number one producer of Black engineers, architects and more is astounding and proves just how important these institutions are. Benefits for students at these institutions range from a level of comfortability and pride when seeing professors of the same race teaching courses and leading research endeavors and the ability of the college/university to infuse culture into learning. The video on Leech Lake Tribal College really resonated with me because students seemed to feel much more engaged and empowered by members of their own community leading every aspect of the institution.

However, professionals in the field face the challenge of rethinking student development theories and practices when working with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). It was surprising to read this week that assumptions on student engagement apply more to traditional students rather than under-served populations. This means there is not a "one size fits all" approach to student affairs that muddies the water a bit as far as how professionals are to engage different types of students.

One last lingering question I had after the readings this week was whether Hispanic Serving Institutions have the exact mission of serving Latino/Hispanic students or if they just naturally occur in regions of the country where the population is higher than others?

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