Report: Challenges Persist for Latino Students

"According to a study published last week by The Education Trust, the gaps in graduation rates between White and Latino college students have persisted," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports. "The report, titled 'A Look at Latino Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,' lists the colleges and universities that have been able to address this gap as well as those where the disparity is still strong. Those institutions that have managed to reduce or eliminate the disparity on their campuses say leadership and a holistic approach are key."

"Dr. Andrew Nichols, author of the report, said the goal was to 'try to bust the myth that an institution’s graduation rate is a byproduct of the students they enroll, that if you enroll students who are well prepared, you’re going to have high graduation rates, and if you’re unable to do that you’re just stuck with bad graduation rates.'

The data used by the report shows variance in Latino student success at four-year universities. It argues that while students’ differing backgrounds and academic performances play a role in this variance, the institutional culture can also impact student outcomes. Nichols proved this explicitly by comparing institutions that were similar except in their differing successes with closing the gap in graduation rates. He explained that he used over ten variables to compare colleges and universities as well as their student bodies.

For example, California State University, Fullerton, and the University of Texas at San Antonio share commonalities in areas such as average SAT scores, percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and the percentage of Latino students. However, the graduation rate reported for Latino students at Fullerton was nearly nine points higher than the rate for their White classmates. On the other hand, White students had an almost six-point lead at San Antonio."

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Publication Date: 1/2/2018

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