• December 20, 2014

Nonprofit Group Steps Up Campaign to Get More Hispanic Students to Complete College

Excelencia in Education expects to announce on Wednesday several plans to accelerate its national efforts to improve college completion among Hispanics, the fastest-growing minority group in the United States.

Fifty groups will be joining the campaign, the nonprofit organization will say. Among them are the National Governors Association, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Maricopa Community Colleges.

The organizations will assist Excelencia in drafting a policy road map to achieve the increase. Excelencia plans to unveil the policy document in March.

President Obama has set an ambitious goal for the United States to become the top-ranked country in the world in college-degree attainment by 2020. To reach that, 3.3 million more Hispanic people than are now projected to complete college would have to earn degrees by 2020, according to Excelencia. Right now, Hispanic people represent about 15 percent of the population of the United States and 12 percent of undergraduate students in higher education.

Young adults who are Hispanic are less likely to be enrolled in college than are other young adults, according to a policy brief that Excelencia was also scheduled to release on Wednesday. In 2008 the college-going rate for Hispanic high-school graduates between the ages of 18 and 24 was 37 percent. That compared with 40 percent of black high-school graduates of the same age and 49 percent of white high-school graduates. For all 18- to 24-years-olds, the proportion of Hispanic people enrolled in college was 26 percent, compared with 32 percent of black people and 44 percent of white people.

"We know everyone has to increase their numbers, but we have so much farther to go," Deborah A. Santiago, vice president for policy and research at Excelencia, said of the Hispanic population.

Excelencia will also release a statistical report on Wednesday that examines the current condition of Hispanics in higher education compared with other racial and ethnic groups.

As part of its national efforts, Excelencia plans to track the college-completion progress of Hispanic, black, and white students on an annual basis. It will use the statistical report as a baseline.

"If our work doesn't lead to action, then we are not being successful," Ms. Santiago said.

Comments

1. jffoster - September 08, 2010 at 06:40 am

"President Obama has set an ambitious goal for the United States to become the top-ranked country in the world in college-degree attainment by 2020. To reach that, 3.3 million more Hispanic people than are now projected to complete college would have to earn degrees by 2020, according to Excelencia."

So, the President has "set ... a goal". So what? It's HIS goal. No law has or can make it ours and we are not required to accept, adopt, nor meet it.

2. 22261984 - September 08, 2010 at 08:37 am

Not sure why the focus has to be on a particular ethnic group: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/758/114/

3. cieolib - September 08, 2010 at 09:57 am

No one is being left out here--in this effort to advance this country's much needed educational muscle to help support us in our future. Rather, others are being invited in to join us in our journey.

It's Koran burning in reverse: opening the mind and heart instead of closing it in a sense of "universitas" that Thomas Jefferson would understand.

4. katigon - September 08, 2010 at 10:00 am

To 22261984: The focus on this particular group is important, if they are going to be the largest minority group soon, and they are still not attaining college degrees at the same rate, what is going to happen to our "goal"?

To jffoster: What is wrong with setting goals? Do you not think it is important to become "the top-ranked country in the world in college-degree attainment by 2020." If we are in the "1st World" countries, but we are not educating our citizens, we will quickly move to the 3rd world.

5. 12052592 - September 08, 2010 at 10:17 am

How come they are not trackinig the college-completion progress of Asian students as well?

6. softshellcrab - September 08, 2010 at 10:41 am

Headlines you won't see:

Nonprofit Group Steps Up Campaign to Get More Irish-descent Students to Complete College

Nonprofit Group Steps Up Campaign to Get More Presbyterian Students to Complete College

Nonprofit Group Steps Up Campaign to Get More Italian-descent Students to Complete College

Hmmmm. I am so tired of this garbage of catering to "oppressed" groups.

By the way, Obama's goal is stupid. We have too many people going to college already. Moreover, more "degrees" is not more knowledge, and all that this will turn into will be dropping standards to help unqualified people get through and get a "degree" without the knowledge/skills that the degree was supposed to represent. What a waste of time and money. How unfair to the students who are qualified and earn a real degree, and how unfair to schools who maintain real standards.

7. rick1952 - September 08, 2010 at 01:26 pm

Softshellcrab wrote: "I am so tired of this garbage of catering to 'oppressed' groups." If these groups are being catered to, then it would seem they are not oppressed. But, assuming they are oppressed, can you seriously compare the current status in the USA of Irish-descent, Presbyterian, or Italian-descent students to the current status of Hispanic-descent students? There is a reason you won't see the headlines you suggested.

Seriously, the issue of access to high quality education has to be addressed well before young people reach college-age. It is our patchwork system of schools which are unevenly funded and resourced based primarily on income (which, coincidentally, all too often correlates with group categorizations like ethnicity and race) that is at the heart of lower college attendance rates of young people from many groups, including Hispanics. If we really want to increase college attendance, we need to improve significantly the pre-college preparation received by students from the "under-represented" groups, particularly those from low-income communities.

As for the claim that too many people are going to college, well, I guess it all depends on what kind of society you want to foster. Sounds elitist to me, echoes the sentiment that "some people" just aren't good enough for (fill in the blank - education, jobs, decent housing, appropriate medical care, etc.) How unfair to those to whom you are unwilling to give a chance at a better future through education.

8. jffoster - September 08, 2010 at 04:23 pm

Katigon (4) asiks me "What is wrong with setting goals?"

My post (1) did not say there was anything wrong with setting goals. It was about whether the country, the citizenry, and the schools (excepting Federal schools and colleges) have any obligation to accept or meet the President's goals. We don't.
The President is not the Absolute Ruler and Autocrat.


My goal for you katigon is that you learn to read. But you are under no legal obligation to accept my goal for you.

9. gplm2000 - September 09, 2010 at 01:29 pm

Good post Softshell... There are too many college students, many of which are not qualified to graduate from high school. They would be better off making more money as plumbers and electricians. Unfortunately the civil rights crowd now determines national policy. All programs/laws are done within the prism of skin color, ethnicity and minority culture. Students that I teach are a disgrace to the K-12 school system as well as some cultures.

Oh yeah, I wonder if these Hispanic students are legal citizens of the USA? Hmmm.

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