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Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are often characterized as Hispanic enrolling (rather than serving) that practice deficit-based systems that continue to marginalize Latinx and other underrepresented students, especially in STEM fields. Extant research on HSIs stresses the importance of investigating the value of grassroots advocacy groups as external influencers of institutional servingness through deeper engagement with the Latinx community. Using a novel family-centered theory of change that addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion, we integrated intersectionality and servingness into a family-integrated education serving and transforming academic framework. We investigated the potential transformational impact of this framework on students, families, faculty, and administrators at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, an institution with over 90 % Latinx population, the majority of which are Mexican American. Preliminary findings shed light on how the framework can help reshape an HSI’s identity from “Hispanic enrolling” to a true Hispanic-Serving Institution through Family-Centered Pedagogy. The Family-Centered Pedagogy enriches the learning experience in which students complement their instruction by drawing from their families' experience and ancestral knowledge, supported by the Family-Centered Theory of Change developed by AVE Frontera, our community partner.


Copyright (c) 2024 Juan Salinas, Parwinder Grewal, Jose Gutierrez, Nicolas Pereyra, Dagoberto Ramirez, Elizabeth Salinas, Griselda Salinas, Virginia Santana, Can Saygin.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Metropolitan Universities