Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Morning Brief: College’s ‘Hidden Curriculum,’ Rattlesnake Bites, And Decathalon Champs

An illustration of a student looking behind a secret bookcase to discover hidden knowledge.
(Dan Carino
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Good morning, L.A. It’s April 27.

Applying for college has become a labyrinth of tests, applications, housing, and of course, financing. But once students arrive at school, the maze doesn’t end — my colleague Jill Replogle reports that upon getting to campus, young people face what’s known as the hidden curriculum.

The term refers to everything from knowing about office hours to finding parking to locating free printing services. Basically, it’s all the things that may seem second nature to students who come from backgrounds where college is more than common— and that may seem completely foreign to students who are the first in their families to attend a university.

"The hidden curriculum is the rules of the game that some people get the rulebook for and some other people don't,” said Aireale Rodgers, a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California whose work focuses on equity in higher education.

Support for LAist comes from

In a new LAist series, Jill tells the stories of students who’ve had to learn about the hidden curriculum on their own, and figure out ways to navigate it. In doing so, she hopes to make it… well, less hidden.

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

There’s Sammie Zenoz, who was determined to work her way out of waitressing and ended up at the University of Southern California. There’s Tatum Tricarico, who became legally blind in high school and went on to attend graduate school at Duke University. And there’s Patty Lozano, a mother of two and student at Santa Monica College who’s working towards becoming a certified public accountant.

Each student encountered unique obstacles and had to find their way around them.

Activists say some schools are doing a better job of relinquishing the in-language and exclusive policies that seem to come standard on many college campuses — but there’s still a long way to go. 

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... Go Grenada Hills! A Local Charter Took Home Top Prize At The U.S. Academic Decathalon

A group of Academic Decathlon students hold flags while posing for a photo in front of an American Flag.
(Courtesy of Granada Hills Charter)
Support for LAist comes from

How much do you know about water? Chances are, it’s less than the Granada Hills Carter’s U.S. Academic Decathalon team, which took home first place at this year’s competition, themed: "California - Water: A Most Essential Resource."

It’s the second year in a row that the nine-member team has won the top honor, completing multiple-choice exams, essays and speeches. Calling the win “a great accomplishment,” team coach Tyler Lee added that the most important thing was that all the students learned a lot.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.