Staff report

Allan Hancock College will offer a new degree program in Latino/Latina Studies beginning this summer and fall

The associate of arts degree program provides a structured study of Latino/Latina heritage and fosters an understanding of Latino/Latina history, culture and aesthetics. The new degree program is the first of its kind at Hancock, which is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education.  

“Hancock curriculum is dynamic, and our curriculum committee works very hard to ensure our programs meet current needs,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “Over the past year, the college has approved 22 new degrees, 48 new courses and reviewed more than 45 programs.” 

The new degree program utilizes existing courses at Hancock across a wide range of disciplines including history, literature, art, sociology, language, dance and more. The required courses in the program will help students develop an understanding of the history, culture and aesthetics of Latinos/Latinas, as well as the issues and cultural realities within their communities. 

“I hope that students pursuing this program will walk away with a more sophisticated racial-ethnic consciousness and the ability to intellectually confront issues of race, history and culture,” said Hancock English Professor Marc García-Martínez, Ph.D., who developed the program while on sabbatical. “For our community, a program like this not only disseminates a shared knowledge but confirms for many people in the Santa Maria Valley an institutional respect for their heritage and experiences.” 

Graduates of Hancock’s Latino/Latina Studies program can pursue careers in education, politics and government, municipal and urban planning, social work, community arts and development, union organizing and labor relations, public or business policy and other areas. Students planning to transfer to a four-year university to study sociology, cultural studies or counseling will benefit from the new degree program as well.  

Students can begin taking classes in the program beginning in the summer and fall. Class search for summer and fall classes at Hancock is currently open. General registration started May 9. Summer classes start June 15 and will be offered remotely. Fall classes begin August 17. 

For more information about summer and fall classes, visit