Colleges Called on to Help Hispanic Students

By Billups, Andrea | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

Colleges Called on to Help Hispanic Students


Billups, Andrea, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A presidential advisory commission on Hispanic education is calling on the nation's colleges and universities to revamp their strategies to help Latino students succeed academically.

While Hispanic college enrollment has quadrupled in the past 20 years to 3.6 million students, that boom has not translated into more students receiving undergraduate or graduate degrees, said members of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans yesterday.

"Once inside the higher education pipeline, too many Hispanic students fail to realize their potential," said Juliet Garcia, president of the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Mrs. Garcia and nine other members of the president's advisory commission are meeting this week in Washington with Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, who is scheduled to give a state of education for Hispanic Americans address on Wednesday.

The commission, which will issue a full report later this month, says colleges and universities must take stock of the changing ethnic and racial composition of the population - their future students - and look for ways to restructure programs to help them succeed.

The number of Hispanic students enrolling in colleges is expected to rise significantly in the next two decades, the panel said. While Hispanics represented 10 percent of the total college student population in 1996, their enrollment is expected to increase to 22 percent by 2025.

Hispanics, however, earned only 5 percent of all bachelor's degrees, 4 percent of all master's degrees and 2 percent of doctoral degrees in 1996. They also make up less than 3 percent of full-time higher education faculties.

Sixty percent of the nation's Hispanic students are enrolled in colleges in California, Texas and Florida - states that are now focused on dismantling affirmative-action programs. …

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