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Nadra Kareem Nittle

More Than 80% of Latinos Havenít Graduated College

By November 19, 2012

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After a record turnout at the polls on Election Day, Latinos are all over the headlines. But a major challenge Hispanic Americans are facing isn't garnering the same amount of attention: Just 14 percent of Latinos age 25 and up were college graduates as of 2011. That puts them behind Asian Americans (51 percent of whom are college grads), whites (34 percent of whom are college grads) and blacks (20 percent of whom are college grads) in educational attainment, Delaware Online reported Saturday.

Considering that 80 percent of new workers in the U.S. labor force will likely be Latino in 2050, it's vital that more Hispanics earn bachelor's degrees. As Richard Fry, a Pew Hispanic Center researcher told Delaware Online: "In a growing economy we will need extra workers. And more than half of the new workers employers will work with will be Latino. Without a four-year college degree, they are going to have a difficult time in those upper-echelon managerial jobs."

So, why don't Latinos graduate from college at the same rate as other groups? There's the fact that public schools remain heavily segregated by race and class. Brown and black children in particular are more likely to attend failing schools with inexperienced teachers. Delaware Online points out that immigrant Latinos may not know how to navigate the public education system, resulting in their children not taking the SAT or applying for financial aid for college while in high school.

The good news is that just as Hispanics are voting in record numbers, they're enrolling in college in record numbers as well.† Last year they made up 16.5 percent of college students, a jump of more than 5 percent since 2006, Fry reports. In 2011, 76 percent of Hispanics graduated from high school, the highest percentage to ever do so.

It's in the nation's best interests for Hispanics to continue making headway in academia. Our country won't be able to compete with others if our labor force is uneducated and unskilled. So, this isn't a Latino problem so much as it as an American problem. Perhaps the politicians vying for the Latino vote after President Barack Obama's reelection on Nov. 6 can discuss how they intend to prevent Latino students from being left behind. While immigration reform is an important issue to the Latino community. It's far from the only issue. Polls reveal that Hispanic Americans care about the economy more than anything else.† Without education, however, it will be difficult for Latinos to improve their 10 percent unemployment rate and weather another economic crisis. By some estimates, Latinos lost more wealth during the recession than any other group. Closing the education gap might have produced an entirely different outcome.




November 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(1) Rev. Dr. Norma Johnson-Patterson says:

Higher learning may be the topic of this particular article. The problem with our just focusing on “college degrees” as the answer to our “economic problem”, we need to take a different approach to thinking of what “higher education” really mean and the benefit behind. Even as we are using this new media the internet, although the founder had a college education background, but he, I believe dropped out of Harvard, because he had a better idea.

So, when we look at the Latino population, they may not have “college degrees”, however those that I know have a very entrepreneurial spirit, they are very family and community conscious”, and they believe in trading among themselves. Therefore the power is not alwas necessarily in how much years of theory people learn to move ahead, it is what you can do with the knowledge you already possess. I myself am for higher education, I believe it is necessary. However, we must in this century look at other venues for development in life, in creating “sustainable communities” in the 21st Century other than just focusing on higher educations in the mindset we have developed in America, based on getting Masters, Doctorate degrees, etc.

Also, there is so much information on the internet these days, a lot of people are now self teaching themselves, as they move forward with their mission of creating small businesses for themselves, employing their own people. Our Latin American brothers and sisters, are definitely teaching us a thing or two, in most communities, they have created their business districts and their communities that support one another, and they will excel beyond our wildest dreams, in the next few cycles we are approaching in America. They are the people to watch, and many will probably not be college or university degree holders, they have the most important ingredient in all. How to work and invest in one another, and channel the money you do make back into your community. That is where the POWER LAY!

November 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm
(2) Dele Kadri says:

Excellent article. It is a wake up call to the Hispanic communities. I was brought up with the notion that though formal education does not guarantee you a financial success in life but it makes a difference in ones life without it. We do not have too many Bill Gates in this world. I consider him an exception rather than the rule. Keep it up Nadra. Dele from Calabar city in Nigeria.

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