Embracing Servingness

PCC has met the eligibility criteria as an HSI since 1990. In its commitment to embrace its identity as an HSI, PCC intentionally roots its work in Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x scholarship, including the notion of Servingness, to support Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x student success. Dr. Gina A. García, a national expert on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), defines servingness as the ability to...“enroll and educate Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x students through a culturally enhancing approach that centers Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x experiences and ways of knowing,” “transform organizational structures for serving, and to provide experiences that lead to academic as well as liberatory outcomes." As an equity-minded learning community, together we will propel PCC into becoming a truly Hispanic-serving institution.

What Does it Mean to be an HSI?

An institution of higher education is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) when at least 25% of its undergraduate full-time equivalent students identify as “Hispanic” – or, as we use throughout our College, Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x -- at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.

Artwork by Victoria Raine Corona (Transferred from PCC to CSULA in 2019) 


PCC Latina/o/x Chicana/o/x History

Pre 1800s
Kizh/Tongva people are the first to inhabit and build community on this land.
The San Gabriel Mission is secularized. Doña Eulalia Pérez de Guillen de Mariné receives 14,000 acres of Rancho San Pascual, which includes what will later become Pasadena, San Marino, parts of La Cañada, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena.
City of Pasadena is incorporated.
Before and
through Early
20th century 
Mexican-descent people labor on the railroad, in fields, in private homes, and as builders of the city. They live in 3 segregated neighborhoods throughout Pasadena.
Maria de Guadalupe Evangelina López is the first Spanish-surnamed student to graduate from Pasadena High School. In 1902, she becomes the youngest instructor on record at USC.
Junipero Serra School, the first of 2 segregated Mexican schools, opens in the southwest section of Pasadena.
Titleyville School, later known as Chihuahuita, opens as 2nd segregated Mexican school in east Pasadena. On its location now sits our PCC Foothill campus.
Pasadena Junior College first established on the Pasadena High School campus.
Xochimilco Club at Pasadena Junior College created “to further the ideals of racial equality” and encourage the retention of Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x students at the school.
Manny Pérez, who grew up in Chihuahuita, becomes first Mexican American dean at PCC. This is preceded by becoming the first Mexican American teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District in 1958.
Jaime Escalante, PCC alumnus, successfully teaches 18 mostlyLatina/o/x and Chicana/o/x students at Garfield High School to pass the AP Calculus exam. While the College Board originally accuses the students of cheating, this claim is proved false and Escalante’s teaching ultimately receives national recognition.
For the first time on record, PCC has met the eligibility criteria to be designated an HSI.
The PUENTE Project established its first cohort at PCC.
The first Adelante Mujer Latina, a daylong career conference, is held at PCC. The largest gathering of Latina youth in the state, it is now part of the programming of the Adelante Youth Alliance, a community partner of PCC.

MESA starts at PCC


PCC’s first Title V HSI grant awarded


Adriana Ocampo, a PCC alumna ’77, is named Science Mission Director for the Planetary Science Division at NASA. Her leadership includes oversight of the missions to Jupiter and to Pluto.

PCC offers the Chicano Studies Academic Travel & Study Abroad Program in partnership with Colegio de Español y Cultura Mexicana (CEPE), de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. Over 60 students (majority Chicana/o/x & Latina/o/x) participate in this program benefiting from the culturally relevant and responsive opportunity to connect to historic and sacred sites in locations including, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Colima, Zacatecas, Ciudad de México, formerly Distrito Federal, Nayarit among others.
Pathways Center’s .XL Summer Bridge-FYE Program - On September 30, 2009 the Pathways Center's .XL Summer Bridge/First-Year Experience Program was recognized in Washington, D.C. by Excelencia in Education as an Example of Excelencia. This is a national initiative to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. XL was selected as a Finalist at the Associate Level. 

Establishment of the Association of Latino Employees (ALE)


JAM Excelencia - On October 2, 2012 the Jam program was recognized in Washington, D.C. by Excelencia in Education as an Example of Excelencia. This is a national initiative to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Jam was selected as a Finalist at the Associate Level. 


First Year Pathways Program Excelencia - On September 30, 2014 PCC's First Year Pathways program was recognized in Washington, D.C. by Excelencia in Education as an Example of Excelencia. This is a national initiative to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. First Year Pathways was selected as a Finalist at the Associate Level.


Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x students represent 51% of the PCC student body, which the College celebrates on Día de la Raza that Fall. 

Bright Spot Honoree - On September 13, 2018 PCC Pathways was recognized as a Bright Spot by Ed Trust--West at its Education Equity Forum in Sacramento, CA. Ed Trust-West advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in poverty. 

PCC, with the support of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Student Services Fund and ALE (Association of Latino Employees) hosts its first ever Indigenous Peoples’ Day Event on October 8, 2018, “Planting Memories of Our Roots: Sembrando Memorias de Nuestras Raices.” A mural exhibit was installed in Creveling Lounge to acknowledge the ancestral wisdom lineage and the Indigenous origins of the campus’ largest student population, many of whom are of Mexican and Central American descent.


For the second time in a row, PCC is recognized as one of the Top 10 community colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute.


Abriendo Caminos to Excellence: PCC Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x Student Data Symposium

— Excerpted mostly from Latinos in Pasadena (2009) by Roberta H. Martínez.

Upcoming Events at PCC