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Wednesday, 19 March 2014 02:19

CSU Focuses on Retaining Minority Students

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| | Courtesy of California State University, Stanislaus|
By Shawn Harkins/The Signal

The California State University system has recently put a greater emphasis on the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups.

Recent projections have the state as minority-majority by 2020, and as such, a greater importance is put on the ability of the state to educate those students for an evolving world and workplace.

Further compounding this, nearly one third of CSU students are the first generation in their families to attend college.

According to the Chancellor’s office, there are nearly 400,000 students in the CSU system, making it the state’s largest university system. Being such, it finds itself in a position to be able to do the most for the growing number of minority students.

In a recent interview with Diversity Magazine, Chancellor Timothy White noted that, “Through education, disadvantaged students have a chance to do more for their families and communities.”

California State University, Stanislaus mirrors the state at large, with nearly 60 percent of students classifying themselves as non-white, according to demographic information released on the school’s website.Some students lauded this latest movement out of Long Beach (home of the CSU board).

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Alexis Rivera , junior, Child Development. “I think a lot of students who could benefit most from education are ironically the ones who find themselves lost in the red tape or shut out completely.”

Some CSU campuses have taken initiatives to improve exposure to minority communities. CSU Dominguez Hills has its annual “Es El Momento Education Fair,” which seeks to build the image of the campus to the Latino community.

In February, the CSU African American Initiative put on a series of CSU Super Sunday events, where members of the CSU community including trustees, presidents, students, faculty members and even chancellor White himself visited a series of churches in an effort to boost exposure in the African-American community, which has seen enrollment in the CSU slip in recent years.

“I feel they are doing a good job in getting the message out,” Roy Brown, junior, Biology, said. “Out of all the schools who sent literature to my high school in Southern California, most were CSU schools.”

Though other campuses are making special efforts to recruit students of mixed backgrounds, some feel CSU Stanislaus is not doing enough.

“I think they do an okay job,” Jacque Lumadue, freshman, undeclared, said. “But I think they could be doing a lot more.”

Others echoed Lumadue’s sentiments.

“This place has a lot going for it, but you never hear about it,” Jose Hurtado, freshman, Business Administration, said. “It’s hidden, and not a lot of people have heard of it.”

The preceding article was provided by The Signal through a partnership to better inform the community of campus news. Visit CSUSignal.com for more CSU Stanislaus news.

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