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Becoming an HSI

The University of Northern Colorado is proud to be a Students First university committed to serving Hispanic, Chicana/o/x, and Latina/o/x students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the local community and our region. We believe that our diversity is our strength and are committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all members of our community feel welcome and supported. 

As an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), we have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Hispanic and latine-identifying students, and are committed to providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed academically, socially and professionally. We also believe that it is important to celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage on our campus, and offer a variety of programs and events that highlight the diversity of latine cultures our students and their families bring with them to UNC.

By becoming a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, UNC will continue its long tradition of preparing and graduating leaders who serve and enrich Colorado's culture and economy.

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Welcome to Bear Country. ¡Te va a encantar! 

Like you, at UNC we believe in investing in a quality education. With more than 100 academic programs, affordable costs, and small classes, UNC can be the smart choice for you! 

Apply today and join students like Andrea in take your first step toward your future career.  

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We approach our work with the following vision elements:

The same vision elements frame UNC's 10-year strategic plan Rowing, Not Drifting 2030.

students first

Students First:
Integrating resources, services and strategies for the benefit of students and demonstrating accountability to ensuring their success.


Empower Inclusivity:
Providing equal access to opportunities and resources for students who in the past may have otherwise been excluded or marginalized.


Enhance & Invest:
Purpose driven institutional and philanthropic investment in supporting campus and programmatic enhancements geared toward student completion and graduation. 


Innovate & Create:
Developing an institutional structure focused on building capacity in instruction, faculty and staff development, inclusive hiring practices and advocacy for equitable policy.


Connect & Celebrate:
Promoting the excellence of our students by intentionally strengthening networks of alumni, parents and support people and business and community leadership.

2022-2023 in Photos

Part of servingness is seeing Hispanic and latine culture and people represented on campus, in our faculty and staff, and in leadership roles. This fall, we had the opportunity to host culturally reflective programs, collaborate with internal and external campus partners on highlighting latine-identifying students and alumni, and create space for additional representation through cultural artifacts. Swipe through the photos to see what we were up to these last few months. ¡Vamos Osos!

UNC Crew at HACU Conference

latine-identifying leadership, faculty, and staff representing UNC at the 36th Annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Conference

Altars 1

Dia de los Muertos altar display by students in UNC's Chicana/o and latinx Studies department in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Center

Brenda Vargas Chicano Dream Mural

Mexican, Chicana artist and UNC alumna Brenda Vargas-Gonzalez '22 shares insight into her mural Centro de Educación de Aztlan in the UNC library.

UNC HSI Leadership

UNC HSI leadership alongside representatives from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Metropolitan State University of Denver

Spring 2023 latine Graduates

2023 latinecellence Graduation Reception and Recognition - More than 335 latine-identifying students graduated from UNC in Spring 2023.

latine Alumni Line Up

latine-identifying alumni and staff attending UNC's latinecellence Graduation Reception (left to right): Cristóbal Garcia '08, Dr. Tobias Guzmán '95, Teresa Castro '21, Rodolfo "Rudy" Vargas '13, '22, and keynote speaker Corina Hierro '14.

Alumni at Adelante

Alumni volunteers Teresa Castro '21 and Alejandro Garcia '17 share their college experiences with students and families attending ¡Adelante!

Bilingual Presentations

Bilingual Financial Aid presentations for potential students and families

HSI Attendees

200+ attendees at the CDHE's visit to UNC for their tour of HSIs

latine alumni

UNC alumna Nancy Wendirad '05 highlighted on-field at UNC Football


UNC students at UNC's latine Heritage Tailgate

HSI Steering Committee at National Chicano Studies Conference

UNC's Hispanic Serving Institution Steering Committee attend the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies Conference in Denver. 


Student participants engaging in HSI efforts at the CDHE's visit to UNC

student performers

Student artists from UNC's College of Performing and Visual Arts performing Spanish-language songs during our event hosting the Colorado Department of Higher Education


Student artists from both the UNC's College of Performing & Visual Arts and Chicana/o and latinx Studies department standing next to artist and lecturer Leo Tanguma in front of their collaborative mural

Atlars 2

Dia de los Muertos altar display by students in UNC's Chicana/o and latinx Studies department


UNC staff and faculty enjoying the closing session of the 36th Annual HACU conference


Last year, the Morales family attended ¡Adelante! to learn more about the college process, now Angel Guillermo and his brother Erick are both college students

Chris, Tobias, and Jonathan serving Pozole

HSI leadership serve students, faculty, and staff pozole during the fall semester's HSI Community Lunch. Left to right, photo shows Chris, Tobias, and Jonathan after serving pozole.

Student graduating

Latina student graduating in UNC's Fall 2022 commencement ceremonies.

Brenda Vargas

"I hope that UNC becoming an HSI will make me feel like I'm at home on campus. Where I can hear the sounds of my people, and see the colors of my culture reflected in the very fibers of UNC."

— Brenda Vargas '23, UNC alumna