The Intentional and the Grassroots Hispanic-Serving Institutions: A Critical History of Two Universities

  • Erin Doran The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Øscar Medina University of Missouri, Columbia


This study examines the institutional histories of Loma Verde University and Azul City University and their development over time into Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Utilizing a theoretical framework of transformational change, we focus on various aspects of these institutions, including curriculum, the allocation of physical spaces, and the creation of programs that specifically serve Latinx students. The study makes use of archival documents that tell the story of the struggles at each institution to cultivate a campus that addressed the needs of Latinx students to promote their long-term academic success. The findings suggest that these institutions were on paths that were heavily influenced by their local contexts and student population; that the transformational process to serving Latinx students was long and faced setbacks; and that their successes came in different forms. These conclusions indicate that the histories of Hispanic-Serving Institutions may be as rich and diverse as the Latinx population itself, furthering the notion that these institutions are unique among other types of Minority-Serving Institutions.