The Chicano Education Program has a dual mission at Eastern Washington University. The program's first mission is to actively contribute towards enhancing the opportunity and participation of Chicanos/Latinos in higher education. This mission is achieved by actively recruiting and supporting Chicano/Latino students to have a positive and successful academic career.
The Chicano Education Program originated in the spring of 1977, when a group of Chicano and Chicana students and Chicano Art Professor Ruben Trejo proposed the formation of a program. Under the administration of President George Fredrickson, the program was founded to recruit Chicano/a students and begin a search for a program director. In the fall of 1977, an acting director was appointed, Santos Hernandez, assistant professor in Social Work. He continued for two years. In 1981, two classes were offered, Chicano Culture Experience and Chicano History. In the 1990s, Survey of Chicano Literature and Chicano-Latino Politics were added. In the 2000 decade, a minor was approved and several courses added.
A parallel CEP mission is to contribute to EWU's goal of addressing diversity, by providing all students, regardless of ethnicity, with a Chicano Studies curriculum leading to a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the Chicano/Latino community and relevant issues.
CEP is committed to staging initiatives which adhere and meet its dual mission. The Chicano Education Program is divided structurally into three distinct program components. These include the following:
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The Chicano Education Program's student recruitment efforts are focused on various activities aimed at encouraging Chicano/Latino students to pursue higher educational opportunities at EWU. Specific recruitment activities include: visiting high schools and community colleges, staging university base student visitations, participating in educational and community career fairs, using the Spanish media (radio, television and newspapers) to disseminate information about educational opportunities at EWU, networking with Chicano/Latino community organizations and other recruitment focused initiatives. In addition, CEP assists students transition into the university by contacting university offices and departments (i.e. Admissions Office, Financial Aid, Housing and Residential Life) on the students' behalf.
The Chicano Education program provides a variety of academic and non-academic support services, benefiting students. Academic services include: advising, scholarship awards and scholarship information, mentorship opportunities, cultural based initiatives, linkages for tutoring needs and a college orientation class. CEP also assists students to become familiar with university regulations and practices and advocates on the students' behalf with other university departments and offices.
CEP maintains contact with both the Chicano and non-Chicano communities throughout the state of Washington. The program's outreach efforts include seminars, lectures, cultural and arts exhibitions. The program sponsors "Primera Generacion," a Mexican folk dance group which performs for the campus and general community for purposes of outreach.
The program publishes a quarterly newsletter, Q-VO, which informs students and the community about CEP activities. On the national level, CEP actively participates with the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, an organization which promotes research relevant to the Chicano community.
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