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United States University: Latinos serving Latinos

Spotlight: Your Educational Opportunities

Photo: United States University

According to the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, only 19.2 percent of Latinos have a college degree, less than half the national average of 41 percent.

There are many factors contributing to this, including language barriers, occupation and family responsibilities, and perhaps the most daunting: rising tuition costs. However, there are credible, affordable options to make higher education more accessible for traditionally under-served communities of students, including Latino students.

One of those options is United States University, an institution aimed at addressing the higher education needs of working adults and committed to serving the Latino and immigrant communities. In addition to its two campuses in Southern California, U.S. University offers extensive online courses available for students nationwide. Flexible on-campus, online, and hybrid programs allow students to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of different fields, including education, nursing, and management.

As an institution committed to improving Latino graduation rates, U.S. University provides a unique educational experience built on the following three cornerstones:

Latino students and faculty
The university can boast a 68 percent Latino graduation rate and at the same time, say that 68 percent of their faculty is Latino. The faculty thus reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of the student population and the larger community. United States University prides itself in being able to preserve cultural and linguistic diversity on campus and in classrooms. Tom Finaly, Chief Operating Officer of United States University, said:

“Our bilingual staff and faculty help erase the possibility of any language barriers for Latino students while they are receiving their education. Unlike many other universities, our staff and faculty are encouraged to use the Spanish language. Many of our programs such as the Bachelors of Arts in Spanish offer Latinos the opportunity to take advantage of their Spanish-speaking skills with the possibility to later advance to a Bilingual Teaching Credential.”

Photo: United States University

La Familia Model
United States University supports students through a number of innovative programs based on the La Familia Model, a model designed to provide students with a nurturing, supportive, and motivating environment. The La Familia approach to learning includes small class sizes (no more than 30 students), accessibility, and regular faculty feedback. Finaly described:

“To us, the La Familia concept means to treat each student with warmth, encouragement and support. This approach reinforces the importance of succeeding in life through a genuine dedication to high-quality education. We believe higher education is a journey where everyone plays a critical role and all actions are taken to invest in the “youngest” member’s success.”

The university also takes pride in its unprecedented, exclusive scholarship programs to Latino, military and California resident undergraduate and graduate students, which total more than $2.4 million. This year, U.S. University just launched a new scholarship program: Rudolph I. Estrada, the Board Chairman, arranged for $810,000 (up to 200 scholarships) to be set aside for Latino men and women nationwide.

United States University is an ideal choice for Latinos who are seeking an outstanding education in a nurturing environment. If you or someone you know is interested in checking out this dynamic institution, please visit their website.

To learn more about Staff Writer, Adriana, visit The Radical Ideas.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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