Creating Equity and Excellence at UC Santa Cruz

At UC Santa Cruz, we highly value diversity yet we know the conversation goes beyond enrolling a diverse student body. The university must shift its efforts toward educational equity to ensure all students experience academic excellence, regardless of race or ethnicity.

UCSC’s Hispanic-Serving Institution team is committed to long-term change efforts that ensure Latinx students wholeheartedly take part in the UCSC community, find success on their educational journey and eventually graduate to make an impact in the world. At the core of this commitment is a willingness to reexamine our traditional educational systems and explore new ways to provide resources and support to students who have not received them historically.

Self-examination and the creation of new educational pathways are key to our work as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. If we want to realize greater student outcomes, we must shift our focus to question institutional practices rather than question the capabilities of our students. Challenging but important questions such as, “Why are our resources not reaching Latinx?”, “How do Latinx experience the resources we offer?” and “Are the resources we offer responsive to the actual needs of Latinx?” are at the root of true change that strengthens and creates a more just university.

Our team’s goal is to help guide decisions about curriculum, programs, resources, and evaluation that support Latinx students and essentially benefit all students by finding the best ways to serve and empower our community of learners.

This strategic work addresses the following questions:

  • What forces accelerate or impede the holistic success of Latinx, low-income, and first-generation undergraduate, transfer, and graduate students at UCSC?
  • What educational interventions, student-centered practices, and investments can increase UCSC’S capacity as a public R-1 institution to support the success and academic, and career pathways of Latinx, low-income, and first-generation undergraduate, transfer, and graduate students?
  • What structures, changes, and institutional investments can increase the capacity of UCSC, as a public R-1 HSI, to serve as a UC and national leader in redefining servingness, achieving equity, and promoting social mobility?

Looking Ahead

As of October 2022, UCSC is one of 559 Hispanic-Serving Institutions, one of only 21 Hispanic-Serving Research Institutions, and has been named a Fulbright HSI Leader for the second year in a rowFulbright HSI Leader status has been conferred on 43 HSIs for demonstrating noteworthy engagement with Fulbright exchange participants during the 2021-2022 academic year and promoting Fulbright Program opportunities on campus. 

UCSC continues to pursue programming and funding opportunities that honor the diverse needs of our students and advance educational equity for student pathways and institutional transformation. We believe that creating a thriving, inclusive community with our HSI funding and programming will result in a rich social and academic experience for all at UCSC.