In an article titled “College degree gaps persist between Latino/Anglo Texas,” AmericanIndependent.com reported that Latinos in Texas have lower degree completion rates than their fellow Anglo classmates. The report is based on education research by the national group, Excelencia in Education. For the United States, Anglo-Texans, and Latino-Texans, the percentages of working-age adults who obtained an associate’s degree or higher are 38%, 33%, and 16%, respectively. The U.S. Department of Education cites that during 2008-2009 nearly half (48%) of the K-12 population in Texas was Latino. Additionally, within the U.S., Texas has the second largest Latino population (38%) with future projections showing a continued increase in this percentage.
According to Excelencia in Education, Latinos in the U.S. will have to earn an additional 3.3 million higher education degrees by 2020 in order to regain the top ranking globally for college degree attainment. This additional need can be attributed to the increasing population of Latinos in the United States, combined with the current degree completion rate. State Representative Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, announced a new initiative to tackle the degree completion gap. The plan is called “Graduation Texas: Engage, Adivse, Retain, Graduate” and will work to augment degree completion by targeting first-generation college freshman and offering specific services, such as counseling or additional support.
Increasing retention rate and degree completion at universities nationwide is important to ensuring future generations are well-educated. Because Texas has such a high proportion of Latinos, it is vital that the gap be narrowed and more degrees are completed.
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