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Project VISTA

Background and Demographics

The 2009 United States Census ranks Ventura County as having the 28th largest population of Hispanic people among the nation's 3,141 counties. Hispanics comprise 38% of the Ventura County population, higher than the statewide Hispanic population at 36.6% and well over the national average of 14.6%.

Roughly 16% of postbaccalaureate students at CI are Hispanic, less than the university's population of Hispanic undergraduates (e.g., nearly 26% of CI first-time freshmen are Hispanic), and far less than Ventura County's Hispanic population. This accessibility gap is significant and troublesome for CI as the only public graduate school opportunity for an increasingly Hispanic service area.

Nationwide, of 100 Hispanic students who enter the school system:

  • 26 enroll in college
  • 8 graduate from BA granting institutions
  • 2 earn graduate degrees

Project VISTA's Title V funding presents a timely and unique opportunity for CI to significantly strengthen its graduate culture and enhance the capacity of its graduate programs to better serve and retain Hispanic and low-income students.

In 2009, Hispanic representation in CI post-bac programs was as follows:

  • 16% of CI's postbac students were Hispanic
  • 52% of these students were enrolled in teacher credential programs
  • 48% were enrolled in one of five graduate degree programs: Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, Business, Computer Science, Education (Educational Leadership; Special Education), and Mathematics

CI, in partnership with the Hispanic community, will continue to work towards its goal of enrolling a student body that reflects the demographics of the region by:

  1. strengthening the infrastructure for the graduate student support services through the creation of a Graduate Studies Center,
  2. enhancing the quality and online accessibility of postbaccalaureate programs and
  3. developing innovative approaches to student learning and research that support opportunities for both students and faculty.
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