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Latin American Studies Program Prepares Students for Changes in California

As the Latino population in California becomes the single largest ethnic group in the state it changes the political and social dynamics. Latin American and Latino/a Studies at Cañada College is a unique interdisciplinary program that examines these changes and prepares students for careers in this new environment.

“We combine courses from multiple academic departments to give students a broad understanding of historical, political, social, geographic and cultural aspects of Latin America and Latino/a communities,” said Alison Field, Professor of History at Cañada. “Coursework in social sciences, literature, music, drama and Spanish language provides a uniquely comprehensive approach to historical and contemporary issues as well as questions of identity, heritage and creative expression.”
Yolanda Valenzuela, professor of English and Reading at Cañada, said the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program opens the door to a range of career opportunities for students. “The continuing importance of Latin America for the U.S. and the growing Latino/a population have produced an increasing need for trained persons with a knowledge of Latin American and Latino/a communities to work in social service, government and foreign service, non-governmental organizations, law, teaching, business and other fields.”

 Valenzuela said students can transfer to UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, San Jose State, San Francisco State, Santa Clara, Notre Dame de Namur and other universities to pursue degrees in Latin American and Latino/a Studies.
Cañada’s Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program is the only one of its kind at a community college in San Mateo County. Students can also double major in Spanish.

For more information, contact Professor Field at or Professor Valenzuela at


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