- Author: Myriam Grajales-Hall
A recent report, released by Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit advocacy and research group, shows that only 16 percent of California Latinos have college degrees compared with 39 percent of all adults in California.
A focus on education is especially timely for Latinos given the younger age of that population, says an article in the Los Angeles Times. The median age for Latinos nationwide is 27 versus 40 for the entire population. In California, the median age for Latinos is 27.
The article mentions that ‘the college gap is especially significant in California, where 38 percent of the population is Latino as well as half of all grade-school students. About 75% of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are Latino.”
Although the article indicates that graduation rates are declining for Latinos and the gap seems to be increasing between Latinos and other groups, the researchers mentioned several programs that are helping Latinos succeed in college, such as the University of California Puente Project.
The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and return to the community as mentors and leaders of future generations. To accomplish this, counselors, teachers and mentors work together to provide students with the necessary tools to successfully transfer to four-year institutions. Through the Puente Project, Latino students persist at greater rates than other students, transfer to four-year institutions at higher rates than other students, and graduate at similar rates to white students (86 percent vs. 83.9 percent).
Source: Los Angeles Times, Report details Latino education gap in California and nationwide, April 10, 2012.