WASHINGTON, D.C. – As our nation begins its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing the work, goals, and achievements of 523 non-profit Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) throughout our nation by designating the week of September 16-22 as "National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week."

“Having experienced the positive impact of attending one of New Jersey’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions, I know first-hand just how important these institutions are to the overall success of the Hispanic community,” said Sen. Menendez. “It prides me to reintroduce this Senate resolution recognizing the critical impact of Hispanic-Serving Institutions in preparing our nation’s Hispanic students to thrive economically and among the workforce, and to become our next generation of leaders.”

“The pathway to the middle class is directly tied to a college education, yet Latinos continue to be underrepresented in higher education,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Hispanic-Serving Institutions play a key role in overcoming this disparity, which is why I’ll continue to advocate for Nevada’s four HSIs and the hundreds of colleges and universities across the country that support large Latino student bodies.”

Defined as degree-granting institutions where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes of no less than 25% of the total enrollment, HSIs play a critical role in educating Hispanic youth and improving the communities in which they are located. HSIs are located in 25 states and Puerto Rico with emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions located in 35 States and the District of Columbia. New Jersey is home to 17 HSI’s.

“The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities applauds Senator Menendez’ leadership on the Senate Resolution designating Sept. 16-22, 2019 as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week. We also commend all the senators who co-sponsored the resolution and supported its adoption,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “The 523 HSIs in the United States and Puerto Rico not only enroll 66% of all Hispanics, they also enroll 22% of all African Americans, 40% of all Asian Americans and 20% of all Native Americans, making them the most diverse cohort of higher education institutions. Their recognition during this week in September acknowledges the essential role HSIs play in educating the entire nation regardless of a student’s race, creed or color.”

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators: John Cornyn (R-Texas), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Cory Booker (D- N.J.), Bob Casey (D-Penn), Dick Durbin (D-Ill), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D- Minn.), Patty Murray (D- Wash), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (D-Verm.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M).