College of the Canyons has been ranked nationally No. 22 and 25 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students and granting the most degrees, respectively.
The magazine rankings for the Top 25 Community Colleges for Hispanics were based from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data for community colleges granting the most associate degrees in 2018.
According to the data, the college had a Hispanic population of 10,004 students totaling 48 percent of the total student enrollment, which was 20,850 in fall 2018.
That same year, of the 2,601 associate degrees awarded by the college, 1,195 of degree recipients were Hispanic students.
“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to meet the needs of a diverse student body,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “Higher education is a pathway to life-changing opportunities, but at the same time, we recognize students often face obstacles to accomplishing their goals. We have made it our mission to remove barriers that stand in their way, so that no matter their circumstances, every student can access education, be engaged in learning, and ultimately be successful in achieving their full potential.
According to COC data, there was a 45 percent increase in the number of Hispanic students who were awarded a degree between 2016 and 2018.
Many Hispanic students attending COC have benefited from the college’s innovative programs, such as the Canyons Promise program, which gives incoming students the tools and resources they need to transition smoothly into college life.
Of the 1751 students the program has served since its launch in 2017, 57 percent of students are Hispanic.
The program, originally known as First-Year Promise, provides increased opportunities for new full-time college students to achieve their educational goals by waiving tuition and fees during their first year of study.
Students who maintain the program’s requirements may have their Canyons Promise benefits extended to their second year of study.
Accepted students enroll in a one-year sequence of courses with priority registration, preceded by a week-long summer boot camp to learn skills needed to be a successful college student.
Canyons Promise courses are offered with the benefits of free Open Educational Resources to use as textbooks, peer mentors, and other learning community elements. To ensure students remain on track, ongoing counseling and student support is also offered.
Additionally, Canyons Promise students receive a parking pass or city bus pass.
The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine’s annual ranking is based on total student enrollment, the percentage of Hispanic students in attendance, two-year schools awarding the most associate degrees to Hispanic students, and the percentage of associate degrees to Hispanic students by two-year schools.