Are Local Colleges Keeping Eye on Race?

By The News May 16, 2007

At Woodland Community College near Sacramento, Calif., Latinos make up 44 percent of the student body and 0 percent of its full-time faculty, according to a recent article.

Eric Alfaro realized about a year ago that something was bothering him about Woodland Community College. Alfaro said he was among the few Latino students on path to transfer to a four-year university, while others were taking longer to graduate or dropping out of school. As president of the student group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA, Alfaro encouraged others to seek answers. What they discovered prompted a student protest and demand that the college hire more Latino instructors. Latinos represent 44 percent of students at Woodland Community College, but the campus has never had a full-time Latino instructor during its 30-year history, according to the college’s records.

When it comes to racial representation, are small colleges held to the same standard as big-name universities? Or are we letting them slide by?