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Mount Mary achieves federal recognition as Hispanic-Serving Institution

With one in four undergraduate students at Mount Mary identifying themselves as Hispanic, Mount Mary University has become one of only two colleges in Wisconsin to be designated by the federal government as a HispanicServing Institution (HSI).

Between 2014 and 2018, Mount Mary’s Hispanic population steadily increased from 15 to 25 percent. Additionally, in fall 2019, approximately 50 percent of new incoming students identified as Hispanic.

This designation continues to put Mount Mary and Milwaukee on the map in terms of opportunities for upward mobility.

Milwaukee’s growing Latinx population has increased 213 percent between 1990 and 2014, according to a study commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation in 2016. Alverno College, Wisconsin’s first HSI, received HSI designation in 2017.

“Supporting our growing Latinx population is a regional imperative,” said Mount Mary President Christine Pharr, Ph.D. “Through the learning community that we are building at Mount Mary, we are putting into place our vision for the greater community of Milwaukee.”

Mount Mary provides extensive institutional support to first-generation and low-income students in particular, and is currently utilizing $8.4 million in funding from federal agencies and national organizations to support student persistence and retention.

In addition, Mount Mary’s Latinx Task Force has been in place for four years to identify and facilitate changes to make the campus more welcoming, from translating web pages and admissions materials into Spanish, to customizing tours and visit experiences for Spanish-speaking families.

In January 2019, Mount Mary University helped form the Hispanic Serving Institution Network of Wisconsin (HSI-NOW), a coalition focused on expanding opportunities for diverse students. The group currently includes Mount Mary University, Alverno College, Carroll University, Marquette University, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Parkside.