Monthly Archives: November 2010

Latinos and College Admission Trends

A new report released by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, Putting the College Admission ‘Arms Race’ In Context,” provides some excellent data on college admissions, particularly amongst Latinos and other minorities. The Washington Post has a good write up on it here. Some of the findings related to Latinos are:

Hispanic-serving institutions had a 111-percent increase in applications during that period, with an annual average increase of 12 percent, which is not surprising given that Hispanic students are the fastest-growing segment of high school graduates.

The number of Hispanic high school graduates increased by 57 percent between 2000 and 2007

In 2007, about 70 percent of white non-Hispanic recent high school graduates enrolled immediately in post-secondary education, compared to 64 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of black non-Hispanics.

….special mission institutions had some of the highest growth in the number of applications. Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) had a 111-percent increase in applications from 2001 to 2008, with an annual average increase of 12 percent. This is not surprising, as Hispanic students are the fastest growing segment of high school graduates. Many of the HSIs are two- and four-year commuting institutions whose students predominantly come from surrounding areas.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)—many of them in the South—had an average yield rate of 38 percent, contrasted with Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), with a very high average yield rate (74 percent). Unlike many HSIs, a large proportion of HBCUs are residential, private, and not-for-profit—which likely explains this difference.

Clearly some good information which is directly related to research that shows Latinos and other minorities have less access to support structures which benefit their college success (note high school to college transition number). The full report can be found here and downloaded for $15.00.

Two Great NPR Pieces

NPR is awesome – despite some of the political rhetoric aimed at them recently. Here are two excellent pieces featured over the last week. 

First, a story regarding minority faculty and how some colleges in MA. are attempting to improve their representation. Money quote from the interview which resonated with me:

“When I got my Ph.D. (at Tulane University), I didn’t have a black professor, and New Orleans is 70 percent black. As an undergrad I didn’t have one either,” Baskerville Watkins said. “So much of what we think we can do is based on what we see. So if I don’t see anyone who looks like me, it is easy to think, ‘oh that’s not for me.’”

Second, an interview with newly elected chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Democratic Representative Charlie Gonzalez. A good discussion regarding the recent PEW poll regarding national Latino leaders (I blogged about it here) among other issues important to Latinos – including the Dream Act.


Latino College Scholarships!

The Ronald McDonald House Charities’ (RMHC)/HACER College Scholarship is now accepting applications from Latino high school seniors. A great opportunity for Latino students looking for that all important school financing. 

Since 1985, RMHC/HACER has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships to nearly 14,000 Hispanic students in the U.S., becoming one of the nation’s largest programs providing financial support for college-bound Hispanic high school seniors.  RMHC/HACER scholarship recipients are students with financial need who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and community involvement.  

Scholarship amounts vary from one RMHC Chapter to another and include a $100,000 national scholarship granted to four graduating high school students. Students can apply for an RMHC/HACER Scholarship electronically by visiting or  High school counselors or college placement advisors can request additional information regarding the RMHC/HACER Scholarship Program by calling 1-866-851-3994.

The Economic Value of Passing the Dream Act

The politics of passing the Dream Act has often been a frustrating and divisive issue. A recent study conducted by North American Integration and Development Center at UCLA try to cut through the  political rhetoric and put a dollar number to the benefits of passing the legislation. According to the study,  

“…2.1 million undocumented immigrants would become legalized and generate approximately $ 3.6 trillion” over a 40-year period. Another positive effect of the DREAM Act would be that “[a] higher supply of skilled students would also advance the U.S. global competitive position in science, technology, medicine, education and many other endeavors”

This is a significant finding when you consider the U.S. will not be able to find enough skilled and educated workers in the coming decades. You can find the report here.

Music as a Cultural Bridge Builder

Craving Latino rock music this morning, I came across AltLatino via NPR. The website is an incredible resource for Latino music – but it’s also much more.

I spent a couple hours this morning listening to a few podcasts and listening to a different wave of Latino music. I was fascinated by the cross-cultural aspects of the music. Many musical themes (immigration for example) touch across national borders. In fact, a good majority of fans of these groups span from Japan to Africa – some would suggest that many of their U.S. concerts have a mixture of audiences not just Latinos.

It was an eye-opening morning. Music as a cultural bridge builder exploring common experiences. Explore their site when you have a couple hours to listen to some alternative and thought provoking music. Below is a video by Manu Chao called Clandestino  – the song’s about immigration but resonates across many national borders and people. Enjoy.

Latinos: Overcoming College Ed Financial Barriers

I’ve written a couple times on the issue how Latino college students  pay for their college education (here and here). Here’s a just released report by the Center for Urban Education entitled  “Tapping HSI-STEM Funds to Improve Latina and Latino Access to STEM Professions” which provides additional evidence that Latino success is partially dependent to financial factors. I’ve shared similar information via HTM and presentations regarding how finances impact the type of institutions Latinos attend (not to mention the ability to complete their degree, etc.). Among the many recommendations to increase Latino success in STEM fields (and applicable to other degrees I think):

 … gaining a thorough understanding of the resources and institutional supports that are required. Evidence is needed not only on “best practices” but also on how faculty members, counselors and administrators become “best practitioners” to bring about the envisioned improvements.

It’s great to see finance barriers getting more attention as a significant factor in Latino college success.

Culture and Leadership

A lot of discussion in the Latino social media world regarding a recent PEW study on Latinos and national leadership. Interestingly, the study found that 64% of Latinos couldn’t identify a leader on a “national level. PEW does a good job of identifying relevant cultural factors for this number; the fact that Latinos not being a monolithic demographic being among them.

My doctoral work centered on Latinos and leadership which is an area that has received minimal attention in the leadership literature. And while the PEW study is indirectly associated with this topic, it does highlight how leadership is perceived differently depending on one’s culture. Many studies provide evidence that people of different ethnicities and cultures have different leadership perspectives – someone’s norms and values create assumptions and expectations. Certainly a complex issue but an interesting one!

If you’re interested in reading one of the most well-known studies examining the role of culture in organizational settings (including leadership), I’d encourage you to browse through House et al’s “Cultural Influences on Leadership and Organizations: Project GLOBE.”

Giving Latinos A Voice On Campus

If you want a good example of the kind of stuff Latino college students are doing on campus visit La Voz Latina at the University of Maryland.  Great sight filled with a lot of good information and perspective about the Latino college experience.  The site serves as a multi-media platform discussing not only Latino college-related content but also broader topics that directly impact the lives of Latinos. You might want to check out this post in particular, “The Latino Look.” Great perspective if you want to understand one perspective of being a Latino on campus. Enjoy!