EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso is one of the nation’s leaders as a Hispanic Service Research University and is among the first to be designated as an Hispanic Serving Institutions before achieving the a high-tier research status known as R-1, according to an announcement.
Other universities across the country with the R-1 research status include Harvard, Stanford, and Georgetown universities. The announcement comes as celebrations of National Hispanic Heritage Month coincide with Hispanic Serving Institutions week.
UTEP officials say the university achieved the prestigious status by taking an inclusive and asset-based approach to higher education designed specifically for its diverse student population.
“We have reached this designation not by excluding anyone,” Dr. Virginia Fraire, Vice Provost for Student Success and Initiatives, tells KTSM 9 News.
UTEP launched its Hispanic Serving Research Council this week that will continue to study policies, practices, and more that will ensure the university continues to effectively serve its student population.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation earlier this week, noting that HSIs like UTEP are on the cutting edge by equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the 21st century.
But UTEP’s efforts do not start — nor end — with serving just the Hispanic student population.
“We must also continue to attend to serving other student populations,” says Fraire, “including African American students, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders who also have been underserved in higher education.”