5 César Chávez Celebrations at HSIs

by Aisha Bowen

Cesár Chávez is one of the most dynamic organizers in the fight for better working conditions for farmers throughout the United States. His organization, the National Farm Workers Association (now called the United Farm Workers), played a key role in improving these conditions through legislation, union contracts, and a host of other efforts. While Chavez supported individuals of all colors and creeds, growing up in a Mexican-American farming community informed his knowledge about this community of farmers specifically. As such, multiple Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) around the country celebrate Cesár Chávez Day on March 31st to commemorate his work. Therefore, today’s MSI Monday Morning Line Up highlights 5 HSIs that celebrate this momentous holiday in honor of this great leader.

1) The University of Texas El Paso (HSI)El Paso, TX


The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) hosts an annual César Chávez celebration in conjunction with the Inter-University Program for Latino Research. This week long celebration includes clothing drives, musical performances, documentary screenings, plays, and much more! One of the most dynamic events, however, is the “Annual El Paso César Chávez Marcha.” Learn more about UTEP’s César Chávez celebration here!

2) Citrus College (HSI)Glendora, CA


Citrus College celebrates the life of César Chávez by giving back. CC students, faculty, and community members participate in the National Chavez Blood Drive Challenge alongside other schools and colleges in the area. Learn more about Citrus College’s blood drive here.

3) California State University, Fresno (HSI)Fresno, CA


This year will be the 22nd year of Fresno State’s annual César Chávez Garlanding Ceremony and Celebration. This three celebration often includes scholars and activists who have a special connection to Chávez’s United Farm Workers organization. Fresno Sate has played a significant role in leading the Filipino community in partnering with Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Learn more about Fresno State’s history of events here.

4) University of California, Santa Cruz (HSI)Santa Cruz, CA

UC santa cruz

UC Santa Cruz has a very unique connection to César Chávez as Chávez stepped foot on this campus in May 1973 for a campus rally. During this rally, Chávez and other United Farm Worker leaders spoke on the current struggles in the movement and thanks all who had helped with the campaign (news.ucsc.edu). As such,  UC Santa Cruz hosts an annual convocation In remembrance of  Chávez’s work. In recent years, the convocationhas shifted from its usual keynote speaker format “to an interactive panel discussion focusing on organizing and how to bridge diverse social movements” (news.ucsc.edu). Learn more about the history of César Chávez at UC Santa Cruz here!

5) University of New Mexico, Main CampusAlbuquerque, NM


University of New Mexico’s (UNM) College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) hosts a “Farmworker Awareness Week” week commemorating César Chávez.  CAMP is a “federally funded program established to identify, recruit, admit, and enroll students from migrant and seasonal farm working backgrounds in higher education. CAMP provides students with academic, social, and financial support to enable the completion of their first year of college” (sust.unm.edu). In recent years, Farmworker Awareness Week events include, celebrating women farmworkers, blood drives, agricultural advocate speakers, and much more. CAMP collaborates with multiple campus and community organizations including  the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, the UNM Graduate Resource Center (GRC), Project of New Mexico Graduates of Color (PNMGC), La Plazita Institute, Albuquerque Food Corps, and many more! Learn more about the College Assistance Migrant Program’s Farmworker Awareness Week here!

Know of other César Chávez celebrations? Share them in the comments below!

7 Elite MSI Law Schools at MSIs

by Kelly Lewis

Law schools play an important part in preparing future lawyers, judges, and public officials. Over the years, law schools have become more and more rigorous with a low average acceptance rate. Although the more elite institutions have lower acceptance rates, they come with benefits. Graduates from elite law institutions have higher-paying and more-esteemed jobs. This week’s MSI Line Up highlights some of the top law schools at Minority Serving Institutions.

1) University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA


The University of Southern California School of Law (Gould) has more to offer students than a great location and splendid weather. For over 115 years, Gould has offered students an institution of reputable excellence and diverse alumni. Today, the school is known as one of the nation’s most diverse law school. 40% of their students identify as people color, 12% as first generation, and 10% as economically disadvantaged. The median GPA of the 2017 class is a 3.78 and a median LSAT of 165. Additionally, Gould offers a median scholarship award of about $31,000. Click here to learn more.

2) University of Houston (AANAPISI)—Houston, TX


Located in the heart of the nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston, TX, you can find the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). The Law Center has been known for its “best-value” reputation, consistently producing programs ranked in the top 10 by the U.S News & World Report, and placements rates of graduates in top law firms. Interestingly, about 40% of student in 2017 entering class identity as people of color. UHLC graduates also have a bar pass rate of approximately 86%, ten points higher than the Texas average. Read more on the University of Houston Law Center here.

 3) University of California, Irvine (AANAPISI)—Orange County, CA


The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is a special place. First, students at the University of California, Irvine Law school have the opportunity to visit beaches, explore parks, and embrace the nearly perfect weather. Second, UCI’s commitment to teaching has led to a student-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, in addition to, having faculty ranked 7th in the nation for scholarly impact. Third, among the fall 2017 class, 48% of the student identified as low-income. Lastly, the application process is free! No fee waiver is necessary. Learn more about UCI Law here.

4) Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, DC

Howard School of Law

As the epicenter of the nation’s legal institutions, D.C. is the ideal location for the study of law. Washington, D.C. is home to federal agencies, public interest groups, private law firms, and corporations. In addition to the unique opportunity to observe the cities law-making process, students at Howard University School of Law benefit from other perks. The School of Law offers an exchange program at three law institutions allowing students to pursue courses in areas of studies not offered within their home university. Howard also offers prospective students the option to apply for a J.D/M.B.A. Read more about Howard University, School of Law here.

5) University of Hawaii at Manoa (AANAPISI/AANH)—Honolulu, HI


The University of Hawaii at Manoa School of law (Richardson) is located in Honolulu. Richardson School of Law is a multicultural community committed to serving all students regardless of their academic background. This institution is currently offering a tuition freeze through 2020. Residents of the area can expect to pay less than $25,000 a year. The University of Hawaii at Manoa School of law offers several dual degree programs such as J.D/M.B. A, J.D./Ph.D., and J.D./M.A. According to the entering class profile, students with a GPA of 2.94 and LSAT score of 151 were found in the 25th percentile of the 2017 incoming class. Read more about the law school at the University of Manoa here.

6) University of Maryland (AANAPISI) — College Park, Maryland


University of Maryland School of Law (Carey) has been around since 1813. Over the last 200 years, UM Carey has delivered outstanding law content in both the clinical and classroom settings. UM Carey offers three main degree program options: Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, and Master of Science in Law. Applicants can choose to attend full-time or part-time. The median LSAT score is 157 and undergraduate GPA is 3.51. Read more about University of Maryland here.

7) Florida International University (HSI)—Miami, FL


Florida International University is the home of the only public law school in southern Florida. Established in early 2001, FIU College of Law has been determined to become a premier institution. According to U.S News & World Report, College of Law is ranked top 100 law in the nation. Regionally its ranked top 3 in job placement and quality of incoming students. It is also ranked first in first-time bar passing rate since 2015. Learn more here.

Do you know any other elite MSI Law Schools? comments below!

6 Vacation Getaways Near MSIs

by Carol Sandoval

With spring breaks happening across the nation, college students are looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate. Luckily for these Minority-Serving Institutions, they are conveniently located near some of the top tourist spots.

1) Santa Fe Community College (HSI)—Santa Fe, NM

Only a 10-minute drive to Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe Community College has the perfect camping getaways. The campus is less than an hour away from two prime hiking terrains, Los Alamos and Valles Caldera. Valles Caldera also houses one of three of the United States’ Super Volcanoes.

2) Miami Dade College (HSI)—Miami, FL

Located in downtown Miami, Miami Dade students take advantage of the beach year-round, including peak season. Only a few blocks away, Miami Beach is one of the top 10 lists of spring break destinations for most college students.

3) Mount Angel Seminary (HSI)—Benedict, OR

The Hoyt Arboretum in Oregon is a botanical garden 50 minutes away from Mount Angel Seminary. The visitor center offers private tours of the gardens in addition to scheduled programming in the fall and spring months. This peaceful getaway

4) Paul Quinn College (HBCU)—Dallas, TX

Calling all football fans! The AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX is only a 30-minute drive from Paul Quinn College. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or an occasional spectator, the close proximity of the stadium entices students to take a break from studying and enjoy one of many games during football season.

5) Le Moyne-Owen College (HBCU)—Memphis, TN

Beale Street, comprised of much history and culture, is iconic in Memphis nightlife. Home to the blues music genre, the restaurants, and museums on the street are inspired by the brassy tones and soulful emotions. Beale Street is walking distance from Le Moyne Owen College.

6) Virginia Union University (HBCU)—Richmond, VA

Although it is two hours from Virginia Union University, the Massanutten Resort is a getaway with something for everyone. The resort includes a waterpark, a golf course, and ski lifts. For most college students, this resort could potentially be the perfect escape during spring break.

If you could visit any of these 6 vacation spots for the weekend, where would you go? Let us know in the comment below!

Community Education at 10 HSIs

by Carol Sandoval

Educating 24% of undergraduate students and 44% of low-income students, community colleges play an important role in educating the next generation of leaders (ccidinc.org). At community colleges, students can attain 2-year transferable degrees,  job skills, and personal enrichment. In addition to the formal degrees they grant, community colleges also provide their communities with not-for-credit courses that allow them to learn new skills and trades at low costs. Today’s MSI Line Up features ten Hispanic Serving Institutions committed to educating their local community.

1) Central Arizona College (HSI)—Coolidge, AZ

Central Arizona College

Community education classes at Central Arizona College teach the surrounding community about self-defense, smartphones, basic landscape irrigation, and much more.

2) Pima Community College (HSI)—Tuscon, AZ

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Pima Community College helps community members complete and receive their high school diploma, offering Adult Basic Education in reading, writing, and math.

3) Modesto Junior College (HSI)—Modesto, CA

Modesto Junior College

With the mission of life-long learning, Modesto Junior College offers not-for-credit classes that teach community members new skills and crafts. With such a wide variation of options, there is something for everyone!

4) Capital Community College (HSI)—Hartford, CT

Capital Community College has two main services for community members: Professional Development and Career Training. Dedicated to preparing its community members for career switches, Capital offers courses in project management, public speaking, and basic technology skills.

5) Cuyamaca College (HSI)—El Cajon, CA

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Working professionals in the Cuyamaca College area can enroll in continuing education coursework. Courses in the fields of auto technician, disability services, and environmental health and safety are all available for those wishing to continue developing their skill set.

6) Elgin Community College (HSI)—Elgin, IL

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Elgin Community College offers free recreational activities and courses to community members. Other services include job search skills and strategies, including resume review and mock interviews.

7) Dodge City Community College (HSI)—Dodge City, KS

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The Adult Learning Center at Dodge City Community College offers GED preparatory courses in addition to English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

8) Chemeketa Community College (HSI)—Salem, OR

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Surrounded by a large population of seasonal and migrant farm workers, Chemeketa Community College offers evening classes for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) to help community members earn their GED while continuing to work.

9) Alvin Community College (HSI)—Alvin, TX

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To ensure healthy living, Alvin Community College has classes on wellness and health promotion. In these classes, community members will learn to “correlate concepts of wellness and health lifestyle and develop specific health promotion strategies for various populations including primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies” (alvincollege.edu).

10) Shoreline Community College (HSI)—Shoreline, WA

Shoreline logo

Shoreline Community College emphasizes the discussion of global issues. For this reason, the Global Affairs Center at Shoreline hosts free events that engage community members and students in conversation regarding global issues. Experts in the field will usually mediate the conversation.

5 Congressional Black Caucus Members from HBCUs

by Kelly C. Lewis

The Congressional Black Caucus has played a pivotal role in “ensur[ing] that African Americans and other marginalized communities in the United States have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream” (cbc.house.gov). Interestingly, many Congressional Black Caucus members received training for this pivotal role at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As such, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 5 Congressional Black Congress members from HBCUs.

1) Congresswoman Joyce Beatty; Central State University (HBCU)—Wilberforce, OH

Joyce Beatty

Central State University

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty is serving her second term representing the 3rd Congressional District of Ohio and has served on the Congressional Black Caucus since 2012. Some of her most celebrated work includes her role on the Financial Services Committee, where she has lead initiative to “increas[e] home mortgage financial literacy, ensur[e] financial oversight, and [expand] affordable housing opportunities” (beatty.house.gov) . Congresswoman Beatty’s is a leading advocate in Congress for “eradicating human trafficking”. In fact, she introduced legislation “to combat child sex trafficking, [which was] unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and 2015” (beatty.house.gov). Congresswoman Beatty graduated with a Congresswoman Beatty graduated with a B.A. from Central State University (HBCU). She also received her M.S. degree from Wright State University.

2) Congressman Al Lawson; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (HBCU)—Tallahassee, FL

Al Lawson


Congressman Al Lawson represents Florida’s 5th Congressional District and has served on the Congressional Black Caucus since January 2017. Lawson is specifically interested in working to “[create] jobs, [improve] access to a quality education from the preschool through the post-secondary level and [protect] working families” (lawson.house.gov). Lawson has also served 28 years in the state legislature as a member of the Florida House of Representative and the Florida Senate. Congressmen Lawson earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). He also earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida State University and completed his coursework for a Ph.D. in Public Administration. Learn more about Congressman Lawson’s work with the Congressional Black Caucus here.

3) Senator Kamala D. Harris; Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, D.C.

Kamala HarrisHoward U

Senator Harris made history as the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. Prior to this position, Senator Harris served as District Attorney of San Francisco for two terms. During those two terms, she made significant impacts including: “won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings” (harris.senate.gov). Harris now serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget (harris.senate.gov).  Senator Harris earned her Bachelors degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings. Learn more about Senator Kamala Harris here.

4) Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II; Prairie View A&M University (HBCU)—Prairie View, TX

Emanuel Cleaver

Prarie View

Congressman Cleaver is currently serving his seventh term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District. In his current role, he is a member of the “House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus” (cleaver.house.gov). Congressman Cleaver made history in the state, as Kansas City’s first African-American mayor in 1991. One of Cleaver’s most outstanding projects in his entire political career has been the Green Impact Zone Project. The Green Impact Zone “is aimed at making this high crime area the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world. This project includes rebuilding Troost Avenue, rehabbing bridges, curbs and sidewalks, home weatherization, smart grid technology in hundreds of homes, and most importantly, hundreds of badly needed jobs for Green Zone residents” (cleaver.house.gov). Congressman Cleaver leaver received a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M (HBCU), a Master’s from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City, and five honorary Doctoral Degrees. Learn more about Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II here.

5) Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson; Fisk University (HBCU)—Nashville, TN

Frederica Wilson

Fisk University

Congresswoman Wilson represents Florida’s 24th Congressional District and has served since 2011. Some of her most impactful work includes: helping to “secure a $1 million grant in 2014 to help reduce crime in Miami-Dade County’s highest crime area, the Northside District” (wilson.house.gov); being “appointed to the advisory council of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Alliance, a public acknowledgement of the life-changing results for boys and young men of color that she has achieved through the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project” (wilson.house.gov); and leading efforts ( i.e. participating in two fact-finding missions to Nigeria and passing two resolutions) as a global leader in human and civil rights to fight for the safe return of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls still missing since their June 2014 abduction by Boko Haram (wilson.house.gov). Interestingly, Wilson’s dedication to the community began far before Congress. She has years of experience in education as a teacher, principal, school board member. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Fisk University (HBCU) and a Master of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Miami. In addition, her active leadership role in the community and state legislature has coined her the endeared name “The Voice of the Voiceless”. Learn more about Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson here.

Best Dorms at MSIs

by Tiffany Smith

According to Niche, a site developed to help students navigate their college search and find the best fit, the following MSIs rank among the best dorms in America as of 2017. The results were based on factors such as student surveys, housing costs, housing capacity, and student housing crime rates. Check out the following schools that know just how to make a student feel at home!

1) Angelo State University (HSI)San Angelo, Texas

Centennial Village 2Jul09 Photographer Danny Meyer

Students from Angelo State University ranked the quality of their campus housing as a 4.1 out of 5. The housing costs are around $7,702 on average with a housing capacity of 51%. This school also has 0 crimes reported! See a full list of their extravagant resident halls here

2) University of Texas of the Permian Basin (HSI)Odessa, Texas


Students from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin ranked their dorm life as 4.1 out of 5. The average housing costs are $8,904 with a housing capacity of 44%. This school also has a total of 0 reported crimes. Find details on their resident halls and rooms here.

3) Point University (PBI)West Point, Georgia

Point Front

The dorms at Point University has an average ranking of 4.2 out of 5. The average housing cost is $6,600 and the university houses 45% of their undergraduate population. There are no crimes reported by the college to date. Find out more about their student housing here.

4) Nova Southeastern University (HSI)Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Students from Nova Southeastern University ranked their dorm life as a 4 out of a 5 point scale. The average housing cost is $10,874 and the university houses approximately 47% of the undergraduate student body. There are no crimes reported by the college to date. Read about Nova Southeastern University’s housing options here.

5) University of California, Merced (AANAPISI/HSI)Merced, California


The students at University of California ranked the University of California – Merced dorm life as 4.1 out of 5. Their average housing costs is $15,646 with a small housing capacity of 29%. They also have a zero percent crime rate. Read all about their living options here.

Check out Niche’s full list of schools with the best housing here!

Predominately Black Medical Institutions

by Kevin Lamár Peterman

Physicians, surgeons, nurses, scientist and medical practitioners are essential to the daily functioning of society. A societal void would exist if individuals did not commit themselves to these professions. Thankfully, for more than a century, our nation has been gifted with institutions that prepare students for careers in medicine and scientific research. This week’s MSI Line Up highlights four predominately Black medical institutions.

1) Meharry Medical College (HBCU)—Nashville, TN


Meharry Medical College was founded as the medical department of Central Tennessee College in 1876 by the United Methodist Church. Located in Nashville, TN, the department later became an independent college in 1915. Today the College is a comprehensive medical institution that includes a school of medicine, a school of dentistry and a school of graduate studies and research. A recent report ranked Meharry as one of the nation’s top five producers of primary care physicians.

 2) Howard University College of Medicine (HBCU)—Washington, DC


The Howard University College of Medicine opened its doors in the fall of 1866 in Washington, DC. It is this nation’s oldest historically Black academic medical institution. The College offers the following degrees; Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS) and Master of Public Health (MPH).The mission of the College of Medicine includes improving health care through training programs and initiatives, discovering knowledge through research and supporting the education and training of postgraduate physicians, other healthcare providers and graduate students in biomedical sciences.

3) Charles R. Drew School of Medicine and Science (HBCU)—Los Angeles, CA


The Charles R. Drew School of Medicine was founded in 1966 in Los Angeles, CA. The College is named after Charles Richard Drew, a physician and Howard University professor whose pioneered methods of storing blood plasma for transfusion and organized the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S. The school offers degrees that include; Master of Public Health (MPH) in Urban Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Medicine (MD). Several associate, undergraduate, and post-baccalaureate are also offered degrees.

4) Morehouse School of Medicine (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


Originally organized in 1975 as the medical department of Morehouse College, the Morehouse School of Medicine is located in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) in Atlanta, GA. The medical school became a private independently chartered institution in 1981. Degrees offered by the school include: Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science in Medical Sciences (MSMS), Master of Science in Biomedical Research (MSBR), Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR), Master of Science in Biomedical Technology (MSBT), and Master of Science in Neuroscience (MSNS).

Know of other predominantly black medical institutions? Share in the comments below!