The Latino/Latin American Studies Center, affectionately know as "El Centro," was established during the summer of 1995. El Centro was the effort of two History Professors, Mariano Díaz-Miranda and Terry Thomas. El Centro started its existence at Rio Grande Campus with the support of Dr. Steve Kinslow, at that time Vice-President of Rio Grande Campus, and Dr. Margie Huerta, Dean of Humanities. In 1997, with the arrival of a new College President, Dr. Richard Fonté, El Centro was asked to accept a college-wide responsibility and a new home at the then soon to be constructed Eastview Campus. Today El Centro now finds itself at the Riverside Campus.
The purpose of El Centro has been, and probably will continue to be, the linkage between the College and the local Latino community we serve. Besides being involved in the recruitment and retention of Latino students to Austin Community College, El Centro also serves the local Latino Community by championing the educational goals of the Latino students in the nearby school districts, and is an important tool/resource in the state’s efforts in “Closing the Gaps”.