This month we begin a 30-day celebration and recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month. I personally want to express my appreciation to the diverse group of Latino colleagues, faculty, students, and staff whose hard work and determination coincide with our mission to increase access, improve support and assist students to meet their educational goals. We are a better district and education community as a result of your contributions.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration back in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson; 20 years later President Ronald Reagan extended the celebration to a month after the passing of public law 100-402 (National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2016).
It’s important we recognize and celebrate our rich and diverse cultures; the Latino culture has been an important part of America. From the arts, the language, the food, and the work ethic, I am thrilled to be able to continue the tradition and celebration of so many important people in our community.
As the Chancellor, I have always viewed the VCCCD as a family unit. Each and every member, staff, and student is a part of that family. Latinos represent more than 350 employees, including full- and part-time faculty and classified workers and more than 50 percent of management. Our student population is also 50 percent Latino, and the graduation rate has been on a steady incline since 2011 (U.S. Census, 2011). We continue to strive to ensure that all students have access to the courses that will continue the upward trend of career success that follow the completion of various academic programs.
So please, everyone join us at the district in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, a reminder of the rich traditions and wonderful culture that has become such an important part of America. We are lucky to have you as a part of our family.
Dr. Bernard Luskin
Ventura County Community College District