Research shows that Latino students are greatly underrepresented in institutions across California. Approximately six in ten Latino students attend a small percentage of all schools within the state of California.
A majority of Latino students attend Hispanic –serving institutions, according to a study by Excellencia in Education. Hispanic Serving Institutions are colleges or universities where at least 25% of the full-time undergraduate population is Hispanic. The schools should also draw at least half of its degree-seeking students from low-income families.
To make the transition from high school to college efficient, many Latino students look for Hispanic friendly schools. The schools not only have a high concentration of Hispanic students in attendance, but also feature a cultural center that is focused on Latino Chicano and Hispanic heritage.
What California Schools Have the Highest Latino-Hispanic Populations?
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University is a private Catholic institution. Loyola Marymount features several student organizations devoted to the Hispanic heritage and culture. They include:
- Latino Business Student Association
- Latino Student Union
- The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
- Sigma Lambda Gamma, a Hispanic sorority
Latino Alumni Chapter
Loyola Marymount also features the Latino alumni chapter. The chapter strives to play an active role in helping Latino applicants in the admission process as well as provide a system of support to Latino students, as a way to increase their retention and connect Latino alumni with each other.
Latino Alumni Scholarship
The school also features the Latino Alumni Scholarship, which was founded in 1985 by a group of law school alumni. The fund aims at increasing the number of Latinos in the legal profession. Today, the Latino Alumni Scholarship is fully endowed, and it continues to provide financial support to generations of Latino/students.
Percentage of Latino students: 59.8%
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Los Angeles is among the campuses in the California State school system. With a population of 27,681 students, CSU Los Angeles is accredited as a Hispanic –Serving Institution.
California State University, Los Angeles established America’s first Chicano Studies Department in 1968. The University is a top source of bachelor’s and master’s degrees for Hispanic studies in California. California State University, Los Angeles has gained national recognition for graduating Latino students who go on to earn Ph.Ds. in science and engineering fields.
The school ranks number 13 in the Top 100 Four Year Colleges and Universities for undergraduate Hispanic enrolment. The University is listed among Hispanic Outlook’s top 10 schools in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics in the areas of law enforcement, homeland security, and firefighting categories. CSU Los Angeles is proudly ranked number 1 for producing the most Latino doctorates in the areas of chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer sciences and biological sciences, according to National Science Foundation.
Fun fact: California State University, Los Angeles includes 27%Hispaniacs on its faculty.
Percentage of Latino students: 55.8%
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Santa Cruz offers a Latin American and Latino studies degree. The department integrates the study of Chicano and Latino communities in America. It analyzes the histories, politics, cultures, and societies of Latin America. The degrees offered in the department include BA and Ph.D.
Fact: The doctoral program in Latin America and Latino Studies is the first in the U.S.
In 2016, Santa Cruz was awarded a $5.7 million grant from the U.S Department of Education’s Program for Hispanic Serving Institutions. The grant will help the University of California, Santa Cruz in its efforts to keep Latino and other low-income students on a path to graduating with degrees in science and engineering.
The University of California, Santa Cruz features the Chicano Latino Resources Center, commonly known as ‘Centro’. The center offers some programs and resources aimed at supporting and boosting on-campus Hispanic community. The services offered at the center include academic tutoring, scholarships and social events that are geared towards unification and integration of Latino students.
Percentage of Latino students: 31.2%
San Diego State University
San Diego State University acquired the Hispanic- Serving Institution status in 2012. Since then, the number of Latino students at San Diego State University as well as the resources for Latino students continue to grow. The university is ranked number 4 in California and number 11 in the nation for having the highest number of degrees awarded to Hispanics by the Hispanic Outlook in their Higher Education publication.
The university features a Chicano and Chicana Studies Department, which offers a variety of degrees related to culture, history and contemporary issues of the Hispanic community.
Percentage of Latino: 30.1%