Mohave Community College students and Dean of Student and Community Engagement-Lake Havasu Campus, Dr. Maria Ayon, attended the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference in Chicago. From left to right: Raquel Ortega, Martha Aguilar, Dr. Maria Ayon, Azucena Loiza, Emanuel Anaya.  

MOHAVE COUNTY – The U.S. Department of Education has designated Mohave Community College as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).  An accredited higher education institution qualifies as an HSI when at least 25% of its enrollment is Hispanic or Latino students. 

Nearly 27% of students currently enrolled at MCC identify as Hispanic/Latino, a percentage that started increasing in 2009. According to the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, Arizona has a total of 21 Hispanic Serving Institutions, and as HSIs, they have the opportunity to apply for more federal grants to better serve their students and communities. 

Across MCC’s four campuses, the Hispanic/Latino student enrollment is highest at the Bullhead City Campus at 40%, followed by the Lake Havasu City Campus at 28%. The Neal Campus-Kingman has 25% Hispanic/Latino students enrolled and the North Mohave Campus is at 11%. For students who are pursuing their degrees online, 26% identify as Hispanic/Latino. 

The College has formed a committee called Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, which will serve as a platform to discuss and define what it means to be a Hispanic Serving Institution. The committee is comprised of 25 individuals from all campuses and departments, and is led by Dr. Maria Ayon, who is serving as the Committee Chair.  She is also the Dean of Student and Community Engagement at the Lake Havasu City Campus, and says she is excited to see the committee help the college better serve Hispanic/Latino students.  

“Being an HSI for students means the institution is being intentional about its practices, policies and procedures to amplify the work we do for the diverse student populations we serve. We are working to help our employees be more culturally competent, culturally relevant and culturally responsive,” said Dr. Ayon. 

The Becoming HSI Committee is currently in its the discovery phase, meaning it is identifying how to better serve the Hispanic/Latino population in Mohave County.  

A program the College offers that currently serves the Hispanic/Latino community throughout the region is the English Language Acquisition (ELA), which is led by the College’s Adult Education Department. The classes are a great resource designed for students whose native language is not English. These classes help students advance in employment opportunities, and learn basic physical and social needs, which includes how to apply for jobs, write resumes and prepare for interviews.  

ELA classes are offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. The next classes begin in January. MCC is now enrolling for the 2024 Spring and Summer semesters. Spring classes begin January 8 and Summer classes begin May 28. Apply for free at Apply.mohave.edu. To learn more about MCC’s ELA program, visit Mohave.edu/Adult-education.