College of the Canyons has been ranked nationally No. 17 and 35 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students and granting the most degrees, respectively.
In addition, the college was ranked No. 9 among the Top 10 Schools by Major for its parks recreation, leisure, fitness and kinesiology degrees.
The magazine rankings for the Top 100 Community Colleges for Hispanics are based on the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data for community colleges with the highest number of Hispanic students enrolled during fall 2020 and spring 2021.
“We are proud to be a Hispanic-serving institution and we are honored to have been recognized once again for our unwavering commitment to serve the needs of our diverse students,” said Diane Fiero, COC’s deputy chancellor and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
According to the data, the college had a Hispanic population of 15,410 students, totaling 49% of the total student enrollment, which was 31,696 in the year 2020-21. That same year, of the 3,200 associate degrees awarded by the college, 1,459 of degree recipients were Hispanic students.
Of the 372 parks, recreation, leisure, fitness and kinesiology degrees awarded, 191 degree recipients were Hispanic students.
According to COC data, there was a 13% increase in the number of Hispanic students who were awarded a degree between 2018-19 and 2021-22.
Many Hispanic students attending COC have benefited from the college’s programs, including the Canyons Promise program, which gives incoming students the tools and resources they need to transition smoothly into college life. Of the 5,560 students the program has admitted since its launch in 2017, 53% self-identified as 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 weeklong 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 on 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.