With a mere 4% STEM Master’s and 3% STEM doctorate degrees awarded nationwide to Hispanics in 2012-2013, the desperate need to reach parity is clear. Thus, the challenge being addressed is the need to graduate more Hispanics with graduate degrees in STEM, specifically computation-based disciplines, such as computer science, computer engineering, computational science, data science, statistics, and geophysics.

The shared purpose and bold vision of the CAHSI INCLUDES effort is to achieve parity in the number of Hispanics who complete computation-based graduate studies through expanded partnerships that include 2-year college feeders. The long-term goal is to pursue this vision through networked partnerships across regions of the U.S. with significant Hispanic populations, partnerships that collectively adapt and adopt proven practices and apply them throughout the higher education system of 2-year colleges and baccalaureate-, master’s-, and doctorate-granting universities.  Specifically, the focus is on targeting the pool of talented students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) who, for various reasons, do not choose to continue on STEM educational and career pathways. The efforts will focus on transitioning Hispanic students from associate degree programs to baccalaureate programs and those in baccalaureate programs to graduate studies.

Proposed Pilot Projects

The pilot will involve the following clusters with the lead institution (denoted by italics) and participating institutions given in parenthesis: Northern California (University of California-Merced, California State University-Stanislaus, Merced College), Southern California (California State University-Dominguez Hills, Southwest Los Angeles College), New Mexico (New Mexico State University, Doña Ana College, NMSU Alamogordo Community College, Western New Mexico University), and West Texas (University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College). The clusters are in areas with high concentration of Hispanics. Key leaders share CAHSI’s core purpose to coordinate proven practices, including practices from NSF-funded CREST, AGEP, LSAMP, and REU programs. The clusters provide place-based efforts to make systemic change that considers specific socio-economic and cultural patterns at the institutional, local, and state levels that may need to be considered.

Table 1 summarizes the Collective Impact Framework, which was adapted from Hanleybrown, Kania, and Kramer (2012), to guide the pilot planning and development efforts. The framework activities are informed by the principles for effective practices from the Lumina Latino Student Success effort (Lumina 2016), and CAHSI’s evidence-based organizational framework.

Table 1:  The proposed Collective Impact Framework (adapted from Hanleybrown et al., 2012)

Components for SuccessPhase 1
Plan for Impact
Phase 2
Initiate Action
Phase 3
Sustain Action & Impact
4 - 6 months6 months - 2 years3 years and beyond
Governance & Organizational StructureBuild on CAHSI's proven processes for organizational sharing and communication; address issues associated with scale and extended reachExtend CAHSI to include 2-year colleges and HSIs; document commitments with MOUsRefine governance based on feedback; extend CAHSI to other regions and STEM disciplines
Strategic PlanningConvene members to discuss issues and resources; establish a common agenda for graduate degree attainmentCollect data to inform strategic plan; align goals and strategies across the allianceRefine strategic plans as partnerships and disciplines expand, new practices identified; analyze impact of changes in enrollments, population
Social Science & Educational ResearchIdentify proven practices that support student identity and sense of belonging; review research questions; analyze student preparationStudy and inform community on cultural incongruence between minority communities and progression to graduate studies; conduct pilot with two-year collegesDisseminate findings; develop a comprehensive, scalable model for cross-institutional advancement of students, in particular progression through graduate school
Strategic PartnershipsConduct gap analysis to identify key partners across all sectors; convene partners to define a common set of objectivesIdentify curricular/co-curricular activities at two-year to Ph.D.-granting institutions with involvement from industry and community partnersExpand shared actions and partners; involve partners who can influence and make policy that impacts Hispanics in higher education
Connection & InvolvementConnect professionals across all sectors through the kick-off planning, cluster, and all-hands meetings Implement a plan for effective mentoring, networking, financial support, student/faculty professional developmentContinue advocacy and engagement efforts
Evaluation & ImprovementCollect data on enrollments, retention, and advancement; data on financial needs, employment during studies and after graduationAssess the organizational structure and capacity of the network; document results of pilot Identify technology and processes to support student tracking throughout their various pathways, including change in institution

Hanleybrown, F., Kania, J., and Kramer, M. (2012). Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 1-8.

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