When it comes to Hispanics and higher education, few colleges in the nation have an acceptable graduation rate to show for, according to a new report by the Education Trust, Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students.
“Institutions can benchmark their progress toward producing more degrees in two ways: Some colleges can focus on making gains in graduation rates for their Hispanic students, while others can focus on closing gaps between Hispanic students and white students,” read the report.
Illinois State University is one of the few that ranked high for graduating Hispanic students.
“This report is a reflection of our efforts to create an inclusive environment at Illinois State, and our goal to enroll and retain high-achieving, diverse and motivated students,” Illinois State Provost Sheri Everts said in a statement.
The report places Illinois state in 19th place for closing the graduation gap between Hispanic students and others, and also positions the school 19th in the nation for universities making gains in Hispanic graduation rates.
Other school making the list included Virginia Commonwealth University, Stephen F. Austin, Southern University, and the University of Georgia.
At the top of the list, however, is Eastern Connecticut State University, followed by Georgia State University and East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.
“The overall gap has modestly narrowed from 2004 to 2010, since graduation rates increased slightly more for Hispanic students at the schools that met these criteria than for white students,” stated the report. “Today, there is a 14-point gap between Hispanic and white students across study institutions.”
Closing the education gap is made possible through many programs offered by the top 25 colleges listed in The Education Trust report.
Among those programs is The Educational Opportunity Program offered at the New York school, Stony Brook. The program has helped Stony Brook top the list of Hispanic-friendly colleges, and the initiative helps approximately 600 low-income students attend and graduate from college.
“A main limitation of these programs, however, is that they have not yet achieved transformative potential,” explained Stony Brook’s David Ferguson, chair of the Department of Technology and Society, and director of the STEM Smart Programs. “There have been a lot of people doing a lot of great things, but the next step is to talk about institutional sustainability. Similar to how there is an infrastructure that supports the university’s research agenda, we need an infrastructure to support diversity to move our institution forward.”
Public institutions are not the only schools mentioned in the report, and The Education Trust also lists the top private colleges with high Hispanic graduation rates.
“On average, trends among private nonprofits are worse than those found in the public
sector,” explained the report.
Among the for profit colleges with high Hispanic graduation rates were Texas Wesleyan University, followed by Seattle University and Dowling College.
“Only when colleges institutionalize the policies and practices that make programs for underrepresented students successful will they bring about a transformative process that benefits all students, and Hispanic students in particular,” concluded the report.
Read the entire report and see the complete list of colleges here.
Originally published as "Report Identifies Nation Colleges With Highest Hispanic Graduation Rates," by Voxxi.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Latinos Face The Second Highest Unemployment Rate In The U.S.
In July, the national unemployment rate sat at<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm" target="_hplink"> 8.3 percent</a>, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nation's Latino workers faced the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm" target="_hplink">second highest unemployment rate</a> in the country, <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t03.htm" target="_hplink"> with 10.3 percent</a>, seeking work but unable to find it. Latino unemployment has become such a persistent problem that in July, Latino joblessness sat just 1 percent lower than it did during the same period a year ago. Other groups of workers are also struggling. <a href="http://" target="_hplink">Women over 20 continue to face a higher unemployment rate (10.5 percent) than men of the same age (8.2 percent).</a>
The Fastest Growing Occupations In The U.S.
In 2010, Hispanics made up <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/about/projections-overview.htm#employment" target="_hplink">14.8 percent of the nation's workforce</a>, according to federal data. By 2020, that figure is projected to rise to 18.6 percent. Where will the jobs be? The 10 occupations expected to grow at the fastest pace by 2010: 1) Personal Care Aides (Jobs in health, beauty, and fitness) 2) Home Health Aides 3) Biomedical Engineers 4) Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters 5) Helpers--Carpenters 6) Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 7) Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers 8) Physical Therapist Assistants 9) Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 10) Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/about/projections-overview.htm#employment" target="_hplink">Click here</a> to see a list of the 20 fastest-growing occupations on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. (See Table 1)
Educational Needs For Fastest Growing Jobs
Sixteen of the 20 occupations expected to grow most rapidly by 2020, require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Four occupations that require less than a high school diploma rank near the top of this list. However, the median wages paid to these workers at the start of the decade lay between $19,000 and $28,000. Workers in other fast-growing occupations on the list, such as Biomedical Engineering, were paid much more. Biomedical Engineers, the nation's third fastest-growing group of workers, also enjoyed the highest median wage ($81, 540). Entering this field requires at least a Bachelor's degree. <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/about/projections-overview.htm#employment" target="_hplink">Click here</a> to see wages and education data for all 20 occupations on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. (See Table 1)
Most Profitable Occupations For Latinos
While <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/about/projections-overview.htm#employment" target="_hplink">less than half of the 20 fastest growing occupations</a> are in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), studies have noted that these fields often prove to be the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/stem-majors-profitable-minority-students_n_1785021.html#slide=1394053" target="_hplink">most lucrative for minority students.</a> Biomedical Engineering anyone? <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/top-25-colleges-graduating-science-technology-engineering-math_n_1733086.html" target="_hplink">Click here</a> to view the 25 colleges producing the largest number of Latino graduates with STEM degrees.
More Latinos Are Enrolling In Higher Education Institutions
In August, a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of new Census Bureau data showed that in 2011, for the first time, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/hispanics-college-enrollment-largest-minority_n_1813655.html" target="_hplink"> Hispanics students made up the largest minority group on college campuses</a>. Over 2 million students ages 18 to 24 are enrolled two-year and four-year institutions. The same report showed that last year Hispanics also <a href="http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/08/20/hispanic-student-enrollments-reach-new-highs-in-2011/" target="_hplink">made up a record 24 percent of all students</a> in public schools, pre-K through 12th grade.
But, Graduation Rates Continue To Lag For Latinos
Despite an increase in enrollment, the number of Hispanics graduating from two-year and four-year institutions lags behind that of other groups. In 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 112,000 associate degrees and 140,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded to Hispanics, compared to the 1.2 million bachelor's degrees given to non-Hispanic white students and the 165,000 bachelor's degrees awarded to non-Hispanic black students. Nevertheless, the number of Hispanics graduating from college continues to grow. In 2010 the number was seven times higher than it was four decades before. The number of Latino students graduating from high school has also grown, a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/hispanics-college-enrollment-largest-minority_n_1813655.html" target="_hplink">76 percent rise from 2010 to 2011.</a> However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16" target="_hplink">Hispanic high school dropout rate of 15.1 percent continues to outpace that of all other racial and ethnic groups. </a>
Latino Degree Pursuits Do Not Align With Workforce Needs
In spite of job and pay opportunities in STEM occupations, Hispanics represent a small number of those receiving degrees in this field. In 2010, <a href="http://edexcelencia.org/sites/default/files/exc2012fyw_stem_final_web_2.pdf" target="_hplink">Latinos were awarded 8 percent of all STEM certificates and degrees</a>, according to Excelencia in Education's 'Finding Your Workforce' series. The Washington, D.C-based research organization<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/top-25-colleges-graduating-science-technology-engineering-math_n_1733086.html" target="_hplink">aims to link Hispanic students with the needs of the U.S. workforce.</a> The top field graduating Latinos was Science, with 10,900 degrees conferred, followed by Engineering, with 9,930 degrees. The organization also found that in both health and STEM fields, Latinos were concentrated in lower paying jobs. In health <a href="http://edexcelencia.org/sites/default/files/exc2012fyw_health.pdf" target="_hplink">most were employed within support occupations</a> (such as health aides) rather than practitioners (like dentists and surgeons). In STEM fields, the <a href="http://edexcelencia.org/sites/default/files/exc2012fyw_stem_final_web_2.pdf" target="_hplink">majority were employed in service jobs (like telecommunications line installers and repairers)</a> rather than professional occupations (such as engineering managers).