Sunday, March 3, 2024

Cal State Fullerton Awards Highest Number of Degrees to Latino Students in State of California

The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine honored Cal State Fullerton for awarding the highest number of degrees to Latino students out of any university in the state of California. CSUF was the first university in California and the fifth in the United States to have this honor.

The 2009 rankings were published in the magazine’s “Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics,” which contained data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Elizabeth Suarez, the Chicana and Chicano Resource Center Coordinator at CSUF said, “This is great recognition, but we have more work ahead of us.”

She expects the number of awarded degrees to keep rising and strongly believes that a change must be made.

Suarez remembers as a child she was told she was, “the exception” for Latinos. Now that she is a coordinator for Chicanos and Chicanas, she explained that the goal is to change the mindset of people who believe that Hispanics are the exception. She wants to replace it with, “being the rule” that all can succeed. (link it)

CSUF reported that Hispanics make up 29 percent of the overall population of 32,611 students.

Suarez argues that this statistic should be higher, especially because CSUF is located in Southern California in a predominantly Hispanic community.

CSUF student Imelda Zapata, a Chicano studies major, remembers growing up that her parents were not familiar with the education system which made it a bit more challenging to apply to college.

She grew up in Venice Beach, where she says there were very few Chicanos. She says, “My elementary music teacher was my mentor growing up, and I still keep in touch with him.”

Zapata is a senior and will be graduating next spring, and is the first to graduate in her family and believes she is setting the standard in her home. She says if she can succeed they all can succeed.

CSUF Vice President of Academic Affairs Ephraim Smith anticipates the percentage of graduating Hispanics to go up with every up coming semester.

Daily Titan