ECC ranked among top 100 schools for Hispanic students


El Camino College President and Superintendent Dena Maloney speaks to students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the First-Gen STEM Luncheon during First-Gen Awareness Week on Monday, Nov. 4. For the second year in a row ECC made the “Top 10 Schools By Major” list in the Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education Magazine when it was recognized for awarding the most general engineering degrees to Hispanics students in 2017. Photo credit: Jose Tobar

The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine recently recognized El Camino College as one of the top 100 community colleges serving the largest number of Hispanic students nationwide this year.

ECC is ranked at No. 15. and also earned a top 10 spot in the “Top 10 Schools By Major” category for awarding the most general engineering degrees to Hispanic students in 2017, according to the August issue of the magazine.

“It’s an indication that [ECC] like the 99 other colleges around the country is a top college for supporting our Hispanic students because we have a culture here that embraces diversity,” ECC President and Superintendent Dena Maloney told The Union. “Everything that El Camino College is doing for Hispanic students, students of color and for all students is really critical to the educated population that needs to be created for the future.”

The Hispanic Outlook On Education Magazine is a biweekly journal that focuses on stories affecting the Hispanic community within the realm of higher education. Every year it releases its “Top 100 Schools for Hispanics” list in which 100 colleges and universities are selected based on enrollment figures that the magazine collects from the U.S. Department of Education.

At ECC, over 50% of students identify as first generation students, Maloney said, and added that many of them are Hispanics who face very specific challenges as they make their way through college for the first time.

Ana Jimenez
Ana Jimenez, 27-year-old computer science major at El Camino College, takes a break outside the Math Business Allied Health Building between classes on Monday, Nov. 4. Jimenez is a first gen student who specifically chose to attend El Camino College after taking classes at Santa Monica Community College because she likes the fact that there is a large Hispanic student body on campus. Photo credit: Jose Tobar

Ana Jimenez, 27, computer science engineering major, is a first generation student born in the U.S. Being the first in her family to go to college, she said she often found the experience difficult to navigate because there was no one in her family she could turn to for advice but found that she has been able to bridge that gap while at ECC.

“It’s really great that El Camino is being recognized,” Jimenez told The Union. “I chose El Camino because of the student population, because I feel like the school does a good job of providing students with as many resources as possible, specifically for Hispanic students.”

According to the ECC website’s Fast Facts, in the 2018 to 2019 academic school year, there were 34,455 students enrolled at ECC, 52% of whom consisted of Hispanic, or Latino students; a trend that remained consistent from the previous academic year.

In 2018, ECC had ranked at No. 16 in the Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine’s “Top 100 of Total Enrollment” list, just a step below its current spot, and made the “Top 10 Schools By Major” list for awarding 38 Hispanics with a mathematics and statistics degrees in 2016.

Juan Alvarez
20-year-old ECC student, Juan Alvarez, an accounting major, gets ready to leave for work after finishing with classes. “It’s good to know that schools like El Camino care about Hispanics and are willing to bring them in to prosper for the long run,” Alvarez said. Photo credit: Jose Tobar

Juan Alvarez, 20, accounting major said that learning that ECC has been acknowledged for serving a large number of Hispanic students like himself, symbolizes having a chance at success through education:

“It proves that Hispanics do have a chance here in the U.S. and it lets me know that anyone is capable of doing what they want to do,” Alvarez said. “So students like myself and any other Hispanics that live here can make it happen, having better circumstances, having better opportunities and having schools like El Camino.”

Editor’s Note: Grammar corrections were made to the headline and article.