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Falling Latino Dropout Rates – How Is It Finally Happening?

Latino college kids. whittier.edu

Something is afoot in the education of Latinos.

Consider these facts:

  • The Hispanic dropout rate, 14 percent, is the lowest it’s been in three decades and has been cut in half since 2000.
  •  About a fourth of the people who took the GED test in 2013 were Latino, the largest share since 2003.
  •  The graduation rate for Hispanics, different than the dropout rate, was up to 76 percent to 2012, a 15 percentage point increase from 2006.

Latino leaders and education experts cite these facts by heart, but they are less precise in pinpointing exactly how Hispanics got to these better education markers.

Explanations vary from the changed and tougher economy to policies instituted in the Bush and Obama administrations. Others point to local school districts manipulating data or the fact that larger Latino student populations have focused the attention of educators who previously may have neglected their needs.

There’s …

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Latino Entrepreneurs Visit Hartford Schools To Inspire Students

Leticia Colon de Mejias (r) is one of six Latino entrepreneurs who are participating in the Ct Inovadores project

Leticia Colon de Mejias (r) is one of five Latino entrepreneurs who are participating in the “La Fuerza Innovadora” project

Leticia Colon de Mejias gave a swift rundown of her life in the Bulkeley High School auditorium Thursday.

“I’m a mother of six children, I own four companies, last year I made over a million dollars and I’m under 40 years old,” said Colon, who founded Energy Efficiencies Solutions, a Windsor energy conservation firm, four years ago with a $25,000 loan.

The longer version? It involved seeing every job as an opportunity, researching ideas and being ready for anything, she told students. “None of the doors will open until you start asking the questions,” she said.

Colon came to Bulkeley as one of the faces of “La Fuerza Innovadora,” or “the Innovative Force,” a state-backed media campaign highlighting Latino entrepreneurship in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Latinos Need 5.5 Million More College Degrees by 2020 to Get U.S. Back

Hispanic high school students

Latinos must earn an additional 5.5 million college degrees for America to regain world leadership in college degrees by 2020, according to a new report.

The report, from Excelencia in Education and the United Negro College Fund, examines Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) alongside historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to bring attention to minority student access.

While HBCUs and HSIs only represent 20% of all U.S. institutions, they educate nearly half of all black and Latino students, according to the brief.

“The combined growth of Latinos and blacks in our population, and in higher education overall, requires more intentional focus on institutions that serve them,” said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education.

A few key points of comparison between HSIs and HBCUs include:

  • 60% of undergraduate students at HSIs and HBCUs are Hispanic or black.
  • In 2012-2013, half of HBCUs (50%) and most HSIs (68%) were public institutions.

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