Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies

Wayne State University
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Key Personnel


The mission of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (LAS) is to transform Wayne University, and ultimately society, by providing equitable access to quality university education to students interested in U.S. Latina/o and Latin American cultural studies, while enhancing diversity on campus. Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, CBS accomplishes its mission through an integrated four-part program including: 
1) Comprehensive Student Services and Academic Success Programs,
2) Research on U.S. Latina/o and Latin American Culture,
3) Internal University Advocacy on Latina/o Issues, and
4) Outreach and Service to Broader Communities.

Program Description

In 1971, two Detroit social services agencies, the Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development, Inc. (LASED) and New Detroit, Inc. jointly founded the Latino en Marcha (LEM) Leadership Training Program. A year later, the Wayne State University’s (WSU) Board of Governors formally approved its incorporation into Monteith College as the renamed Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies, and later on renamed once again as the Center for Latin/a and Latin American Studies. The Center is the second oldest Latina/o undergraduate studies program in the Midwest. The center was created to empower underrepresented groups and first-generation students from working-class backgrounds.


LAS participants largely outperform their WSU First Time in Any College (FTIAC) peers in all areas of measured student success.

LAS participants passed English 1010 at a rate of 94% and Math 0993 at a rate of 80%, while also achieving a 86% retention rate. This is compared to WSU success rates of 71% in English 1010, 44% in Math 0993, an 89% retention rate.

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