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SRJC rated top college for Hispanic students

The Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine has listed Santa Rosa Junior College one of the nation’s “Top 50 Community Colleges for Hispanics.”

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, there are currently about 1,132 community colleges in the United States.

SRJC was highlighted particularly for having the greatest number of Latino students receiving degrees and certificates and having the greatest total enrollment of Latino students.

SRJC received designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the US Department of Education in 2013 due to its Latino enrollment and robust programs and services aimed at supporting its Latino population. Currently, 34 percent of all students enrolled at SRJC are Latino. Highlights of SRJC’s dedication to Latino students include:

• SRJC has engaged in strong outreach efforts to improve access for first-generation students. Recent data shows that 40 percent of all new high school graduates enrolled at SRJC are Latino, mirroring K-12 public school demographics of Sonoma County.

• In 2017, the Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees unanimously declared the SRJC campus a “Safe Haven for Undocumented and Marginalized Populations.” In 2018, the college hired a new, dedicated Dream Center coordinator to help expand Dream Center services and assist undocumented students. SRJC’s Dream Center is unique because it provides free immigration legal services through a partnership with VIDAS nonprofit.

• The SRJC Extended Opportunities Programs and Services serves more than 700 first-generation students, and provides them with dedicated counseling services, book grants and priority registration.

• The SRJC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program serves educationally and economically disadvantaged students majoring in calculus-based majors, so they can excel in math and science and attain STEM degrees from four-year institutions. MESA currently serves more than 150 SRJC students.

• The Student Equity and Achievement program, funded by the state, has helped SRJC create services such as the Puente learning community, tutorial services, counseling and other interventions aimed at assisting first-generation students succeed in college.

SRJC President Frank Chong said that he’s proud that the college is being recognized for its efforts to support Latino students.

“The demographics of our community are changing and SRJC is dedicated to adjusting and growing to meet the current needs of all of our students,” he said.

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