A new book by University of Pittsburgh School of Education faculty member Gina Garcia provides solutions for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) seeking to better serve Latinx college students and other college Students of Color.
Transforming Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Equity and Justice (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023) provides a theoretical framework that can help HSIs transform into spaces of liberation and engines for promoting racial equity and social justice.
“This book has been in progress since 2016, which is when I wrote an article in the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education about decolonizing Hispanic Serving Institutions,” says Garcia, an associate professor in the Pitt School of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations and Policy. “I knew I always wanted to expand on those ideas in the article and finally had the opportunity to do that through this book.”
Based on 25 years of HSI research, Garcia’s new book emphasizes how the framework can be used as a model of organizational change. Since publishing her first book Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions (Johns Hopkins University, 2019), empirical research on HSIs has emerged exponential;y, which is indicative of the steady increase in the number of HSIs each year.
“This book really dives deep into why we can’t keep doing the same thing we’ve always done and expect different outcomes. That’s the reality we’re seeing with HSIs,” says Garcia. “HSIs are not producing different outcomes than predominantly white-enrolling institutions, and there are still inequities in educational outcomes for Hispanic Latinx students.”
With this book, Garcia says she had more leeway during the writing process as opposed to her first book.
“I could write more freely and could write more of what I wanted to than in my first book, which was grounded in a more traditional structure,” says Garcia. “I didn’t really hold back through my writing process, and it comes across in a very powerful manner and tone in this book which a lot of people have said they loved.”
Along with the powerful messages portrayed in her book, Garcia hopes readers understand that organizational change is multifaceted.
“Change is a huge process; it takes time, and it’s a lot of hard work from the entire campus community,” says Garcia. “We can’t become HSIs without a collective effort from everyone.”
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