Hostos Community College President Addresses Congressional Staffers at Capitol Hill Briefing

On September, 20, 2011, Dr. Félix Matos Rodríguez, President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY), addressed participants at a Congressional Staff Briefing on Federal Programs for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), which was held at The Capitol in Washington D.C.

Organized by the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, the nation’s only coalition serving and advancing the collective interests of more than 350 MSIs, the briefing provided an opportunity for higher education administrators to share with members of Congress and their staffs the importance of preserving funds for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other MSIs in this difficult budgetary climate. The presentations at the sessions emphasized the positive impact of Title V, Title III and HUD Community Partnership programs on HSI and MSI campuses throughout the nation.

This briefing was attended by approximately 30 Capitol Hill staff members who deal with appropriations and education issues for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and by representatives of the Alliance’s member organizations: the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU), and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).

The distinguished panel of speakers included the following educational leaders: Dr. Sharon K. Hahs, President of Northeastern Illinois University, and Dr.  Matos Rodríguez, President of Hostos Community College, representing HSIs; Mr. Thomas Shortbull, President of Oglala Lakota College, South Dakota, and Ms. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President of Northwest Indian College, Washington, representing Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU); and Dr. Charlie Nelms, President of North Carolina Central University and Michael Sorrell, Esq., President of Paul Quinn College, Dallas, TX, representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

“Hostos Community College exists because of the struggle of many Latinos and African-Americans for an education. Today, Hostos has the largest percentage of Latino students in the state of New York, with a 57% Latino and 22% African-Americans,” indicated President Matos Rodríguez.  “Some of our retention and graduation program initiatives, faculty professional development programs and an Hostos Foundation Endowment Fund would not have been possible without a Title V HSI Grant. These sources of economic support are of paramount importance because they ensure the progress of minority serving institutions.”

The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education will continue to brief congress on the needs and changes of MSIs across the country.

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York system, was founded in 1968.  Located in the South Bronx, the college currently serves nearly 7,000 students.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2010 enrollment of nearly 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College visit

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