The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine has ranked Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) among the nation’s Top 100 Colleges and Universities for serving and graduating the largest number of Latinx students nationwide. This announcement was released on October 12, in their annual Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics’ issue. This list charts the national progress for Latinx in higher education and recognizes the institutions that are committed to serving Latinx student’s educational needs.
SRJC ranked No. 49 for total Latinx enrollments for 2018-2019 and No. 56 in the number of associate’s degrees awarded to Latinx students in 2019. These figures come from The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Currently, 36% of SRJC’s student enrollment is Latinx. Vice President, Student Services Pedro Avila credits some of this achievement to the SRJC Student Outreach team and their work with local high school partners.
“Our goal is to make college more accessible to all students in Sonoma County. Through our focused outreach efforts and high school partnerships, we’ve had success increasing the percent of local students who attend SRJC post-high school, which has reached an all-time high of 43% in 2018-19,” Avila says. “A large number of our incoming students are first-generation and Latinx. With the recent Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant award that SRJC received, I believe we’ll see even greater increases in Latinx completion rates in years to come.”
SRJC student Lupita Camberos credits her continued academic success to the college’s supportive environment. “As a first generation Latina student, I was truly afraid that I wasn’t going to fit in and I had this idea that I wasn’t going to have the same opportunities or support as many students,” she says. “I was completely wrong. The JC has programs…and such amazing staff that have helped me so much in my success encouraging me to aim higher in my education. Having someone to talk to…has played a large role in helping me continue even through this pandemic right now and continue to be a successful student.”
Former SRJC student Cesar Andrade said that the faculty were key in helping him reach his goals. “As a first-generation Latino student, I didn’t have much direction or guidance on how to succeed in college rigor. Thanks to the supportive faculty here at SRJC, I was able to connect to programs and resources that helped me excel in my classes and ultimately helped me transfer to UC Davis,” he says.