Tag Archives: college

The Tale of Two Reports

I spent a couple of hours today searching for current data on Latino educational attainment and outcomes, specifically in the area of post-secondary education. I was a bit frustrated. Reports were either incomplete or dated.

Finally, I was able to find two good reports, both published this year, which provided detailed analysis. One report was from Department of Education’s (DOE) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) entitled Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017. This is a comprehensive report outlining the progress and challenges faced by different racial and ethnic groups.   The second report was from the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) entitled Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions. This report was also a comprehensive examination of educational data but focused on minority serving institutions in the United States.

Frankly, I was left a bit disheartened after reviewing the NCES report. Latinos are indeed making strides. For example, Latinos doubled the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded between 2003-04 and 2013-2014. Yet, Latinos still lag well behind other racial and ethnic groups in regards to overall post-secondary attainment. Expecting the same results, I turned my attention to the CPRS report and was pleased, but puzzled, to read this:

The completion rate for exclusively full-time students at public two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) was 40.3 percent using NSC data, compared to the federal graduation rate of 25.5 percent. The NSC total completion rate for public four-year HSIs was approximately 50 percent and 74.1 percent for exclusively full-time students, compared to a federal graduation rate of 42.7 percent.

Why the difference?

As compared to the NCES report, CPRS “aimed to paint a more complete” attainment and outcome picture by using data beyond that collected by the DOEcation. Another key difference between the reports is this:

As the NSC data show, the majority of students at HSIs do not attend college exclusively full time, which is significant since higher education policy is still largely rooted in the notion of a “traditional” student body that among other attributes attends college full time.

In other words, DOE education attainment reports factor in ALL educational institutions, post-secondary in this case. This is no fault of the DOE but does shed light on my initial gloomy reaction. These two reports also underscore the need to present information in a way that reveals a clearer picture of educational attainment by Latinos in the United States.

The Rigged Admissions Game

“Students from families in the bottom economic quartile comprise only three percent of enrollment in the most competitive schools, while those from the top economic quartile comprise 72 percent” – this reported by a new Jack Kent Cooke Foundation regarding college admissions. This finding more than 10 years after selective institutions made a public commitment to increase the representation of low-income students (aka – “blind admission” strategies). Video provides an overview of key findings – report can be found here.

Moving the Goal Line

LynNell Hancock and Meredith Kolodner examine how the increased emphasis on SAT scores at some colleges is helping to create a two-tier system in higher education – the first for Asian and white freshman and a second for Latino and black students. CUNY is one such institution:

At a time of massive and widening inequality gaps in New York City, CUNY has a responsibility to address these equity gaps within and across its colleges,” said Michelle Fine, CUNY graduate center professor of psychology and urban education. “I fear that we have lost thousands of talented and engaged students of color who are rejected by our senior colleges and yet accepted by other highly competitive private colleges and universities.

The basis of the article is this report which suggests the 2008 recession  forced colleges to raise SAT score requirements to manage the increased number of people entering college. Latinos and other people of color were systematically squeezed out:

As a result, beginning in 2009, the makeup of CUNY colleges changed significantly. The incoming freshmen at top-tier schools had higher SAT scores and GPAs than those in previous years. Many students that previously had been able to enroll in top-tier schools were now enrolling in second-tier senior colleges. And more freshmen with scores that would have previously allowed them to get into a four-year college program were enrolling in community colleges.

Latino Market Growth and Opportunities

Jose Villa at the Engage Hispanics blog outlines eight trends impacting the Latino market in 2015 and beyond. An interesting list that shouldn’t be too surprising given the demographic, economic, and political changes we’ve seen over the last decade in the Latino population. Two of the eight trends focus on education, highlighting the increased representation of U.S. Latinos in “non-traditional” regions.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are 17 states where Latino children comprise at least 20% of the public school kindergarten population. Today’s kindergartners offer a glimpse of tomorrow’s demographics – indicating a much more Hispanic population in states like Kansas, Nebraska, and Idaho. In states like California and Texas, Hispanics represent the majority of kindergartners.

Educating the Future

The Latino talent “pipeline” begins with education.

And as more Latinos enter colleges and universities, many in higher education still aren’t ready to manage the growth of Latinos on their campuses, including how to graduate them in higher numbers.

The Chronicle examines Latino demographic shifts and warns schools to pay attention:

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Chronicle examined by state and county the population from age 18, or zero years from traditional college age, down to age 4, or 14 years away. Younger age groups are strikingly smaller in New England, as in Rockingham County, N.H., where 18-year-olds number almost 4,500 and 4-year-olds just 2,600, a difference of more than 40 percent. With fewer young white children in almost every state, many counties’ younger age groups would be vastly smaller if not for much larger numbers of Hispanic children.

CollegeGrowth

Still Looking for Access

A USC study reports that Latino high school students (in California) who graduate from top schools still attend community colleges.  Regardless of the state, the barriers remain the same.

According to the study:

Previous research has found the concentration of Latinos in the public two-year sector to be attributable to many factors, including the relatively low cost, geographic accessibility, and curricular and program flexibility of community colleges.

Previous posts on this topic here, And so it goes…..

The Educational & Earnings Divide

This is a great piece by The Atlantic regarding race, gender, and the workforce.  An interesting comparison of participation rate of Latinos, women, and other demographic groups. The disparities among Latinos and African Americans can still be attributed to one underlying issue, education:

Blacks and Hispanics, who make up about one-quarter of the workforce, represent 44 percent of the country’s high school dropouts and just 15 percent of its bachelor’s earners. Until we can close the difference between those numbers, it’s unlikely that the workforce’s unyielding racial stratification will improve.

Graphic via The Atlantic

The Road Less Traveled

A recent California study shows Latinos disproportionally attend community colleges after graduating from high school. Why? The study points to several challenges faced by Latinos:

Previous research has found the concentration of Latinos in the public two-year sector to be attributable to many factors, including the relatively low cost, geographic accessibility, and curricular and program flexibility of community colleges (e.g., Crisp & Nora, 2010; Nora & Crisp, 2009). Researchers have also pointed to systemic disparities in K-12 school quality experienced by Latinos and the consequences that attending disadvantaged and underresourced schools have on Latino student college readiness (Nora & Crisp, 2009).