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A Message from UCF’s Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships

¡Saludos! I am honored to lead our HSI Initiative at UCF in partnership with thoughtful colleagues across divisions and academic colleges who are committed to serving our Latino students with intentionality, while maintaining our unwavering commitment to serving all of our Knights. UCF aspires to be a leading Hispanic-Serving Institution in the nation, by embracing equity-minded and culturally responsive practices that enable a meaningful collegiate experience for all of our students. We are still at the beginning of our HSI journey, so the possibilities are endless and our potential is strong. I invite you to learn more about UCF’s HSI Initiative and I look forward to our continued work together. ¡Vamos Knights!


HSI Administrative Lead

Cyndia Morales Muñiz, Ed.D.
Director, HSI Culture & Partnerships
(407) 823-0524

Seal of Excelencia

UCF was among ten higher education institutions nationwide selected in 2021 for Seal of Excelencia certification. This 3-year certification recognizes institutions who intentionally serve Latino students while serving all by demonstrating purposeful alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership. Learn more about the Seal of Excelencia here.

About HSI

A Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is a federal designation by the U.S. Department of Education that acknowledges colleges and universities with 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment. Eligibility must be met annually, and is monitored by UCF’s HSI Unit within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

No additional financial resources are automatically provided to institutions as a result of the federal designation, rather, HSIs are eligible to competitively vie for federal and foundation grants aimed at supporting HSIs.

Currently, there are 569 HSIs across the U.S., including 29 institutions in Florida.

Learn more about HSI.


HSI Certification

Dr. Cyndia M. Muñiz, Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships, is the official signatory for Hispanic/Minority Serving Institution Certification Forms and Verification Letters.

As of March 1, 2019, investigators applying for sponsored projects are required to submit HSI/MSI certification/verification requests to at least five (5) business days prior to when they are due to the Office of Research.

When requesting a signature on a certification form or an eligibility verification letter, please submit:

  • the Request for Funding Proposals (RFP) (referencing the page numbers where eligibility requirements and definitions can be found); and
  • a proposal draft (referencing the page numbers where HSI wording is included)
  • a signed Serving Statement (below).

College Research Coordinators should not provide any HSI certification to faculty members without first contacting Dr. Muñiz for eligibility review and determination of what documentation is most appropriate for the submission.

In the event that Dr. Muñiz is unavailable for an extended period of time (as determined by away message), Celeste Rivera-Núñez in the Office of Research will serve as the backup signatory.

View the Serving Statement PDF





CREAR Futuros, which means “To Create Futures” in Spanish, is a peer-mentor based initiative designed to improve Latino student success at UCF. CREAR (College REadiness, Achievement and Retention) Freshmen/Sophomores will be paired with knowledgeable and highly trained upper-classman UCF Peer-Mentors that will introduce them to campus resources and offer insight on how to make the most out of their UCF experience.

Read the CREAR Futuros Brochure

Learn more about CREAR FUTUROS.


Nuestra Graduación


Nuestra Graduación is one of UCF’s cultural affinity graduation programs hosted in the spring in celebration of Latino/a/x students and their families. It is a bilingual, cultural program where Latin American flags are displayed with pride. Most importantly, it inspires confianza through active family participation in the program. Nuestra Graduación does not replace the university’s official commencement ceremonies or any college specific celebrations. It provides an additional space and opportunity to celebrate in a meaningful way. This program is hosted by UCF’s Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives in partnership with the Latino Faculty and Staff Association and other campus partners.


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has put together a few resources as references to support all of our campus partners in developing their HSI efforts and/or strategies. These resources are meant to provide a starting point. All departments are encouraged to schedule an HSI consultation for a more in-depth conversation about defining SERVING in each respective area.

¡Excelencia In Education! HSI 2019-2020 List R1 Hispanic Serving Institutions: Potential for Growth and Opportunity Florida Briefing on 25 Years of HSIs

Campus HSI Resources

UCF Connect – ConeXiones Resource Guide Housing Viewbook 2021-22 – Spanish Office of Student Involvement Brochure – Spanish


UCF faculty and staff members interested in internal data that can help inform HSI/MSI grant proposals and other projects are encouraged to utilize IKM’s Interactive Facts and the OEAS Knowledgebase to obtain supporting information.
Note: Click on the images below to go to dashboard and portal sites.

Screenshot of the IKM Data Dashboard
IKM Interactive Facts

Departmental or program specific information can be requested via the IKM Data Request Form

National Partnerships


HSI Week Message from President Cartwright

HSI Week Forum


Twitter Feed

Wishing you a happy thanksgiving! We are grateful for all who support HSI Initiatives. #Gratitude #Gracias #VamosKnights

Congratulations to Dr. @CyndiaMuniz, @UCF's Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships, for being selected as a Finalist for Professional of the Year! #DQAwards  #VamosKnights @HCCMO @ProsperaUSA

We're celebrating International Education Week! Did you know @UCF was recently named a @FulbrightPrgrm #HSI Leader? 🎉 🙌🏾 #UCFIEW21 #GlobalKnights #VamosKnights

Muchas gracias @Telemundo31 por compartir nuestra buena noticia. #HSI #VamosKnights
@EdExcelencia #ExcelenciaSeal

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