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Becoming an HSI

The University of Northern Colorado is a Students First university committed to serving Hispanic, Chicana/o/x, and Latina/o/x-identifying students, faculty, staff, alumni, the local community, and our region. Based on the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging, we will develop and implement policies, structures, and culturally responsive pedagogy and practices to increase the educational and career attainment, as well as social mobility, of these populations. Through the success of being a federally designated HSI combined with the thoughtful and intentional effort of servingness by all members of the university community, we will contribute to the success of every student while making gains in closing educational equity gaps present at our university. In addition, UNC will continue its long tradition of preparing and graduating leaders who serve and enrich Colorado's culture and economy. We know that doing so will positively impact people's lives and the future of our state.

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We approach our work with the following vision elements:

The same vision elements frame UNC's 10-year strategic plan Rowing, Not Drifting 2030.

students first

Students First:
Integrating resources, services and strategies for the benefit of students and demonstrating accountability to ensuring their success.


Empower Inclusivity:
Providing equal access to opportunities and resources for students who in the past may have otherwise been excluded or marginalized.


Enhance & Invest:
Purpose driven institutional and philanthropic investment in supporting campus and programmatic enhancements geared toward student completion and graduation. 


Innovate & Create:
Developing an institutional structure focused on building capacity in instruction, faculty and staff development, inclusive hiring practices and advocacy for equitable policy.


Connect & Celebrate:
Promoting the excellence of our students by intentionally strengthening networks of alumni, parents and support people and business and community leadership.

Fall 2022 in Photos

Part of servingness is seeing Hispanic and Latinx culture and people represented on campus, in our faculty and staff, and in leadership roles. This fall, we had the opportunity to host culturally reflective programs, collaborate with internal and external campus partners on highlighting Latinx-identifying students and alumni, and create space for additional representation through cultural artifacts. Swipe through the photos to see what we were up to these last few months. ¡Vamos Osos!

UNC Crew at HACU Conference

Latinx-identifying leadership, faculty, and staff representing UNC at the 36th Annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Conference

Altars 1

Dia de los Muertos altar display by students in UNC's Chicana/o and Latinx Studies department in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Center

UNC HSI Leadership

UNC HSI leadership alongside representatives from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Metropolitan State University of Denver

CCCC Staff

César Chávez Cultural Center staff and students at UNC's Latinx Heritage Tailgate

Latinx Alumni

UNC alumnus Brandon Torrez '99, '02 highlighted on-field at UNC Football

Adelante Event

Guests attending UNC's ¡Adelante! bilingual admissions event

Alumni at Adelante

Alumni volunteers Teresa Castro '21 and Alejandro Garcia '17 share their college experiences with students and families attending ¡Adelante!

Bilingual Presentations

Bilingual Financial Aid presentations for potential students and families

HSI Attendees

200+ attendees at the CDHE's visit to UNC for their tour of HSIs

Latinx alumni

UNC alumna Nancy Wendirad '05 highlighted on-field at UNC Football


UNC students at UNC's Latinx Heritage Tailgate


Students participating in activities at UNC's Latinx Heritage Tailgate


Student participants engaging in HSI efforts at the CDHE's visit to UNC

student performers

Student artists from UNC's College of Performing and Visual Arts performing Spanish-language songs during our event hosting the Colorado Department of Higher Education


Student artists from both the UNC's College of Performing & Visual Arts and Chicana/o and Latinx Studies department standing next to artist and lecturer Leo Tanguma in front of their collaborative mural

Atlars 2

Dia de los Muertos altar display by students in UNC's Chicana/o and Latinx Studies department


UNC staff and faculty enjoying the closing session of the 36th Annual HACU conference


Last year, the Morales family attended ¡Adelante! to learn more about the college process, now Angel Guillermo and his brother Erick are both college students

Chris, Tobias, and Jonathan serving Pozole

HSI leadership serve students, faculty, and staff pozole during the fall semester's HSI Community Lunch. Left to right, photo shows Chris, Tobias, and Jonathan after serving pozole.

Student graduating

Latina student graduating in UNC's Fall 2022 commencement ceremonies.

Brenda Vargas

"I hope that UNC becoming an HSI will make me feel like I'm at home on campus. Where I can hear the sounds of my people, and see the colors of my culture reflected in the very fibers of UNC."

— Brenda Vargas '23, UNC Student