Date of Award

Spring 4-2023

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

B.S. in Interior Design


Design and Innovation

First Advisor

Dustin Altschul

Second Advisor

Kim Buchholz


When students move to college for the first time, they are faced with challenges of adjustment and acclimating to a new environment. For Latinx students, these challenges are amplified. Many Latinx students are first-generation college students, meaning neither of their parents attended or obtained a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution. This causes a ripple in the experiences these students face as they were given little guidance on how to navigate college.

They are leaving behind a culture they shared with friends and family. This culture is full of cuisines, music, and cultural traditions. For many this is the first time they are separated from what is most familiar to them. These students come to college searching for a home away from home where others can relate to their experiences. They are looking for a new sense of belonging to replicate what they left behind.

At many historically white institutions (PWIs) this is hard to find as college campuses were not designed with the perspective of Latinx people in mind. Despite this, there has been strides being made to create Latinx culture centers and programs designs to support the increase of Latinx students attending colleges and universities.

This research examines existing Latinx culture centers that have been used as study zones, meeting location for student organizations, event centers, social hubs, and places to decompress. Campuses with Latinx culture centers and/or programs for Latinx students tend to have a greater retention rate than those that do not. To support Latinx students, the students need to be given the opportunity to share their experiences and express their needs that will help them succeed. While these cultural centers might just seem like just another space on campus to some, for these students it is their home.