Sandra Calles, PhD

Dr. Sandra Calles is a psychologist, educator, life coach, mentor and activist. Her passion is to advocate for causes she believes in, teach about mental health topics, and guide others, so they may achieve success in their personal and career endeavors.

She has over 11 years of experience as a mental health professional having worked at various mental health facilities. Most recently she was a therapist at Los Angeles Harbor College at the Life Skills Center. While at Harbor College, she helped many students overcome emotional obstacles so they could transfer to universities and meet their career goals. She devotes her personal and professional life to political causes, and activities that promote mental health, women’s issues, the empowerment of Latinas through education, business ownership, financial literacy and political engagement. Dr. Sandra is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning both a BA in Human Services and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She earned her doctorate from Saybrook University in Psychology, where she developed a treatment modality from her research on survivors of sudden cardiac death. The treatment plan known as PROSPER, is an acronym detailing a healing plan that can be applied to survivors of various traumas and is the underpinning for the work she does with her clients..... Continue Reading

Mexican American Pro Archive : Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals

It is of utmost importance to discuss why Mexican Americans have trailed most minority groups in educational achievement. The Atlantic recently published a Feb. 8, 2017 article titled “The Myth of Immigrants’ Educational Attainment,” in which new research from sociologist Cynthia Feliciano, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, “found that the reason immigrant families appear so successful is not upward mobility, but the ability to work their way into the same class they occupied in their native country.”

This is an interesting new theory that shines the light on groups such as Cubans that excel far beyond all other Hispanic groups in educational attainment.

The good news is that in spite of many explanations to the inequality between the educational attainment of Mexican Americans and the larger population in the United Sates, numbers in this educational achievement gap keep rising.

News from the American Community Census is better than last year’s. Mexican American college enrollment in the US rose from 18.9% in 2015 to 19.3% in 2016, in spite of the total college enrollment falling from 27.8% in 2015 to 27.7% in 2016.



American Community Census
2015 – 2016 College Enrollment
Total Population
Mexican Americans
Total Population
Mexican Americans



Graduate or professional degrees are also up from 3.0% in 2015 to 3.2% in 2016; although for the total population they were a bit higher from 11.6% to 11.9%. The contrast is still significantly low for Mexican Americans in comparison to the general population.

Bachelor’s degrees among this population managed to eke out a small gain above the national number. The numbers for Mexican Americans were 7.8% in 2015 to 8.2% in 2016 and 19.0% and 19.3% for the total population, respectably.

Mexican Americans were also on the positive column when it came to associate’s degrees; moving from 22.1% in 2015 to 22.5% in 2016.



Total Population
Mexican Americans
Total Population
Mexican Americans
Graduate or Professional Degree
Bachelor’s Degree
Associate’s Degree



The University of California reports a continued rise in underrepresented minorities with the rise of Chicano/Latino freshmen enrollment rising from 32.3% in 2016 to 33.2% in 2017.

Transfer numbers from community colleges also grew from 28.3% in 2016 to 29.7% in 2017 for Chicano/Latino students.



Chicano/Latino of admitted California Freshmen
Chicano/Latino transferring from Community Colleges



Occupations, including those in management, business, science, and art, fared better for Mexican Americans. The number of Mexican Americans filling these occupations rose from 17.5% in 2015 to 18.4% in 2016.



  2015 – 2016 OCCUPATIONS
2015 2016
Mexican Americans Mexican Americans
Management, Business, Science, & Art Occupations 17.5% 18.4%



Industrial employment for Mexican Americans showed a slight improvement even above the gain by the general population. Mexican Americans moved from 10.2% in 2015 to 10.4% in 2016. The total population rose from 11.3% in 2015 to 11.4% in 2016.



2015 – 2016 INDUSTRY
Total Population
Mexican Americans
Total Population
Mexican Americans
Professional, Scientific, Management, Administrative, & Waste Management Services, Occupations



Lastly, an example of one of the lowest showings in educational attainment came from Hudspeth County, Texas, which includes metropolitan El Paso.

The demographic data of this county as reported by the American Community Survey shows that Hispanics comprise 77.6% of the population and white (alone) is 18.9%.

The educational attainment for white (alone) is 24.5% for bachelor’s degrees and 3.2% for Hispanics. It is an example of the hard work to be done by the educational community of that county.



Professional, Scientific, Management, Administrative, & Waste Management Services, Occupations
Total Population
Educational Attainment
Total Population
Educational Attainment



It has been a good year for Mexican American professionals; hopefully this will continue in spite of the current political climate.

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“…And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while…”

T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Press Release

2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals Now Available

The 2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals is now available on

News from the 2015 American Community Service shows good increases in the numbers of Mexican Americans attending college, achieving educational attainment, and holding jobs in industries including science, management, and business.

• Mexican American college enrollment increased from 18.7% to 18.9% between 2014 and 2015
• Graduate or professional degree attainment among Mexican Americans rose from 2.9% to 3.0%
• The number of Mexican Americans achieving bachelor’s degrees rose from 7.6% to 7.8% in 2015

Despite these numbers, Mexican Americans are still near the bottom of college enrollment and educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

The University of California is proactive in pushing for a greater number of underrepresented minorities. The number Chicano/Latino students attending UOC increased by 2.7% since 2014; this group now makes up 32.3% of admitted university freshmen.

In terms of occupations, the number of Mexican Americans making up part of the management, business, science, and art occupations continues to rise, from 16.6% to 17.5% from 2012 to 2015. Mexican Americans have also seen consistent numbers in the professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services occupations, keeping steady at 10.2% of all jobs in these fields held by Mexican Americans.

These numbers represent continuing gains in higher education and professional jobs for Mexican Americans. For more, visit