HSI Students’ Experiences of “Servingness” during COVID-19


  • Sarah Hug Colorado Evaluation and Research Consulting
  • Susan Jurow University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Heather Thiry University of Colorado, Boulder


In this paper, we identify the contexts in which students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) continued (or failed to continue) their academic pursuits during the COVID-19 pandemic. We collected and analyzed open-ended survey data from 518 students from 14 computing departments at HSIs. Our analysis highlights how students experienced the multidimensional framework of “servingness,” the critical organizational, interactional, and ideological approach that many HSIs use to support their students (Garcia et al., 2019). We describe six distinct ways students experienced servingness in their postsecondary education during the first months of the pandemic, specifically through ) maintaining accessibility of physical infrastructures; 2) creating flexible policies that center relationality and responsibility; 3) holistic approaches to student wellness; 4) development of online culturally responsive pedagogy; 5) departmental and institutional provision of technical resources; and 6) student development of peer support networks.