Minority Serving Institutions and Campus Ministry

msiWhat is a minority serving institution?

Although I didn’t realize it until recently, I’ve spent the last 14 years of my life attending or working at three different minority serving institutions. As student demographics across America have continued to change, a growing number of colleges now serve a large percentage of minority students. Whether they are a mid-sized community college or a flagship research university, everyday hundreds of MSIs create opportunities for students of color and often enroll a high percentage of low income students and first generation college students. Unrecognized and underresourced, MSIs often able to do more with less.

As of 2012, these institutions enrolled one-fifth of all undergraduates and 39% of all students of color. Although MSIs have confusing government acronyms, these campuses are extremely strategic in serving the diverse student population across America:

  • HBCUs represent 2% of all institutions, but enroll 8% of all Black undergraduates.
  • PBIs represent 3% of all institutions, but enroll 11% of all Black undergraduates
  • HSIs represent 8% of all institutions but enroll 51% of all Hispanic undergraduates
  • TCUs represents 1% of all institutions, but 10% of all American Indian undergraduates
  • AANAPISIs represent 7% of all institutions, but 54% of all Asian undergraduates

The difference between recognized, funded, and unrecognized MSIs is constantly in flux and currently there is no official list that includes every MSI. Still, a growing number in the academic community are accepting the different MSI designations and seeing their strategic value. An increasing number of companies and universities have begun to look to MSI graduates to bolster their own employee diversity.

Some questions for campus ministry leaders to consider:

  • Are we as a movement knowledgeable about these campuses and their particular multi-ethnic dynamics?
  • Where in the nation are we having tremendous success at MSIs and where are we still lacking?
  • How can we help our current ministries at MSIs better reach their diverse student body?
  • Where might MSIs fit into the greatest student awakening in history and the proclamation of the gospel to every nation?

Types of Institutions

HBCU – Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Date Created: 1837, expanded in 1890
Date Recognized: 1965
Criteria: colleges for African-Americans established before 1964
Number of colleges: 106
Location: primarily in the South and Mid-Atlantic
Notes: oldest and first MSIs
Examples: Winston-Salem State, Howard University, Xavier University

PBI – Predominantly Black Institutions

Date Recognized: 2008
Criteria: 40% black, not an HBCU
Number of colleges: 156
Location: mostly in the Southeast
Notes: PBIs are primarily public two-year institutions or small private nonprofits
Examples: Guilford Technical, Troy University, University of Memphis

AANAPISI – Asian American & Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions

Date Recognized: 2008
Criteria: 10% Asian and Pacific Islander
Number of colleges: 307
Location: primarily East and West Coasts
Notes: the newest federal designation due to the growing AAPI population
Examples: University of Hawaii system, University of California system,

HSI – Hispanic Serving Institutions

Date Recognized: 1992
Criteria: 25% Hispanic
Number of colleges: 356
Location: primarily California, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas
Examples: 21 of 23 schools in the Cal State University system

TCU – Tribal Colleges and Universities

Date Created: 1968
Date Recognized: 1978
Criteria: colleges chartered under tribal authority
Number of colleges: 36 colleges across 78 campuses
Location: reservations or tribal lands in Midwest and Southwest
Notes: predominantly two-year institutions, found in 15 states representing 250 federally recognized tribes
Examples: Haskell Indian Nations University (KS), Oglala Lakota College (SD), Diné College (AZ)

Additional Designations

  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institution (ANNH)
  • Native American-serving Non-tribal Insititution (NASNTI)
  • “High Hispanic Enrollment”

Examples of Minority-Serving Institutions

With a Chi Alpha presence:

  • CSU Stanislaus – 45% Hispanic
  • Angelo State – 32% Hispanic
  • UC Davis – 30% Asian
  • Troy University – 31% Black
  • Winston-Salem State – 72% Black
  • University of Illinois, Chicago – 31% Hispanic, 22% Asian
  • New Mexico State – 56% Hispanic
  • Texas A&M Corpus Christi – 49% Hispanic
  • Florida A&M – 84% Black

Without a Chi Alpha presence:

  • CSU Los Angeles – 59% Hispanic
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa – 43% Asian
  • Francis Marion – 43% Black
  • UC Irvine – 36% Asian
  • Trinity Washington University – 67% Black
  • UC Santa Cruz – 29% Hispanic, 27% Asian

Example of Major University Systems with MSIs:

    • Cal State University system (23 colleges) – 21 HSIs and 14 AANAPISIs
    • University of California system (9 colleges) – 9 AANAPISI and 4 HSIs
    • University of North Carolina system (16 colleges) – 5 HBCUs, 1 AANAPISI, 1
    • CUNY system (19 colleges) – 13 AANAPISIs, 11 HSIs, and 3 PBI
    • SUNY system (64 various campuses) – at least 2 HSIs and 4 AANAPISIs