Becoming An Hispanic-Serving Institution

Two Female Graduates
We are increasing our diversity and expanding access and opportunity to higher education for all Rhode Islanders.

What Does it Mean to Be an HSI?

HSI status is defined by the Higher Education Act and designated by the U.S. Department of Education to acknowledge Title V-eligible colleges and universities where 25 percent or more of total undergraduate full-time equivalent student enrollment identifies as Hispanic or Latinx. Eligibility must be met annually.

Becoming an HSI Means Opportunities

Opportunity to Be Served

At Rhode Island College, Hispanic/Latinx students belong to a bold community of diverse students, dedicated faculty and staff, and a robust support system to guide them through their years at RIC and beyond.

Opportunity to Serve

We don't just serve Hispanic-Latinx students, we serve all students. We are committed to fostering the sense of "servingness" at RIC - enhancing our ability to serve students of all backgrounds and making it more intentional and inclusive of all student populations.

Opportunity to Support All Rhode Islanders

As of 2020, there were 569 HSIs nationwide, enrolling two-thirds of all Hispanic/Latinx undergraduates in the U.S. RIC currently has the highest percentage of Hispanic/Latinx students of any institution of higher education in the state, with 25.1 percent.

With Rhode Island’s Hispanic/Latinx population growing by nearly 40 percent over the last decade, from 12.4 percent in the 2010 Census to 16.6 percent in 2020, HSI status is aligned with the college’s mission to make a four-year degree accessible to all Rhode Islanders.

With nearly 40 percent of RIC students identifying as people of color and nearly half of undergraduates identifying as the first in their families to attend college, the school educates the most economically, culturally and racially diverse cross-section of Rhode Islanders of any four-year institution in the state.

Opportunity for Additional Funding 

Thanks to LatinX students making RIC their college of choice, we are now poised to become an HSI and compete for and receive additional federal resources through Title III and Title V federal funding. These capacity building grants would strengthen the college as a whole. In addition to enabling colleges to expand educational opportunities for and improve the academic attainment of Hispanic/Latinx students, these federal funds are intended to expand and enhance the academic offerings, improve program quality, and increase institutional stability of the colleges and universities that educate the majority of Hispanic students nationwide.

Meet the RIC HSI Work Group

Becoming An Hispanic-Serving Institution

A BOLD Focus on Diversity Over Time


  • RIC designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)
  • RIC establishes HSI Work Group


  • RIC strategic plan prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Office of Community, Equity and Diversity name is amended to be known as the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Creation of RIC Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plan


  • RIC publishes Campus Climate Survey Report 


  • RIC launches Campus Climate Survey with Rankin & Associates Consulting


  • Inclusive Excellence prioritized in Rhode Island College’s Strategic Plan
  • Anna Cano Morales appointed at Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Director of Institutional Equity hired


  • Dr. Frank D. Sánchez announces the creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Previously known as Community, Equity and Diversity)
  • Dr. Frank D. Sánchez appointed the 10th President of Rhode Island College


  • RIC launches the Dialogue on Diversity Committee
  • Created RIC Unity Center on campus

In the News

Rhode Island College entrance

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion leads institutional initiatives that promote a diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus community.

Anna Cano Morales

Anna M. Cano-Morales

Vice President of External Relations & Diversity