Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post provides an interesting essay about who is considered Latino. Debates surrounding the growth of U.S. Latinos, immigration reform, and other social cultural issues seem to have redefined Latino identity along many lines. If you’re Latino, you can identify:
Besides, others play identity politics for me. I’m Hispanic when census forms and my children’s birth certificate documents nudge me to choose. I’m Hispanic when junk mail arrives at my house trumpeting special offers for my Irish American wife and ofertas especiales for me. I’m Hispanic when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking on my door with a pitch for salvation ready in Spanish. I’m Hispanic in America because people I don’t know have decided that is what I am.
Mr. Lozada accurately identifies a unifying issue for Latinos regardless of cultural background:
When the political debates over immigration turn ugly, when talk of self-deportation and racial-profiling laws and anchor babies permeates campaigns, the distinctions and nuances seem to dissipate.
Don’t believe most everything you read about Latinos in the mass media. Latino Decisions tells us why:
A common negative stereotype of Latinos is that they are criminals and gang members. This stereotype is attributed to some extent by perceptions that some are here illegally and also to their participation in crime and gangs which is perpetuated by the mass media
Based on this report by NBER, Matty Yglesias nails why even smart kids coming from low-income households are “screwed” by the college admissions process:
The problem really does seem to quite literally be that most low-income kids and their families are not well-informed about the situation. They don’t know personally what kind of SAT or ACT scores are good enough to go to a selective college, they don’t know which selective colleges are appropriate for someone with their test scores to apply to, they don’t know the strategic logic of “safety schools” and “reaches”, they don’t know about need-blind admissions policies, and they don’t have any social acquaintances who can inform this. Isn’t this what school guidance counselors are supposed to be for? Indeed it is! But they’re seemingly not doing a very good job, nor are the recruiting arms of selective schools.
When it comes to implementing an effective multichannel college recruiting strategy, employers are still well behind the expectations of tech-savvy college graduates. According to this study by Potential Park:
Today’s graduates are miles ahead of the employers in using career websites, social and professional networks as well as in their open mindset for smartphone usage. They expect employers to follow them and to pave their personal way to the right, fulfilling career – they go online for the perfect match.
Brown University provides a demographic snapshot of U.S. Latinos in a recent report. The study entitled, “Hispanics in the United States: Not Only Mexicans,” (I don’t really care for the title) shares some interesting trends including the significant growth of Central and South American Latinos. Mexican ancestry or immigrants still represent 60% of U.S. Latinos but that number has decreased over the last decade with the influx of Central and South American immigrants. The report also shares good comparative educational data.
This report by MyEdu.com highlights the non-linear path taken by many college students today. A lack of student support, overburdened administrators, and poor academic advising at many universities leave many new students feeling lost and on their own. From a Latino perspective, this non-traditional path, before and during college, is not new. Most Latino college students emerge from high school having the academic determination but lacking the right information to maneuver within an increasingly complex higher education process.
Here’s a quick video I put together on the topic of Latinos and their college journey:
I spent the better part of six years from one community college to another trying to understand the academic and financial workings of college life. I didn’t “get it” until most of my peers had either dropped out of school or graduated to a four-year institution. It was an on again/off again academic journey that wasn’t very pleasant. When I look back on the experience, it’s frustrating to realize how it could’ve been avoided so easily.
West Virginia, which is over 94% White (according to the 2010 census), has its first partner school in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU): West Virginia University. The college joins others where Latino student presence is growing — fast:
WVU joins with such institutions as Baylor University, University of Kansas, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, University of New Mexico, Michigan State, University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin.