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 Selected Research & Readings

Immigrants and Visible Minorities: Post-Secondary Education Experiences - Among low-income college students, visible minority immigrants have a dropout rate in the first or second year of 17.1%, as compared to 25.5% (or almost 50% higher in relative terms) for non-immigrant, non-"vismin" students. The authors also find that despite their successes in postsecondary education, visible minorities--whether immigrant or not--are less likely than others to agree that "their faculty is helpful and sympathetic" and fewer say "their school is a place where they feel they belong". (Ross Finnie, Stephen Childs and Andrew Wismer, The MESA Project, November 2010)...

Rising to the Challenge: Hispanic College Graduation Rates as a National Priority - President Barack Obama has called for the United States to reclaim its position as the nation with the highest concentration of adults with postsecondary degrees in the world. Given the changing demographics of the United States, this target cannot be achieved without increasing the rate at which Hispanic students obtain a college degree. In this report, the authors explore the dimensions of this challenge and identify steps that can be taken to help meet this ambitious national goal. (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, March 2010)...

California Policy Options: To Accelerate Latino Success in Higher Education - In order to remain economically competitive, Californiaís economy will require a more educated workforce than currently exists. In 2005, 31% of Californians 25 and over had a bachelorís degree or higher. A large portion of the demographic growth in California through 2040 will be Latino. However, the educational attainment of Latinos in California is very low. In 2005, only 9% of Latinos 25 and over in California held a bachelorís degree or higher. The purpose of this brief is to offer policy recommendations, based on recent research and discussions, to improve the educational attainment of Californiaís workforce, especially Latinos. The brief proposes policy options to meet three major goals: (1) Ensure that all students and parents understand the long-term benefits of a higher education degree and the steps necessary to prepare for college, (2) Make college affordable for students from all economic backgrounds and (3) Increase the number of Californians ó especially those from underrepresented groups ó who have a postsecondary degree. (Deborah Santiago, Excellencia in Education, December 2006) ...

Inventing Hispanic-Serving Institutions: The Basics - Almost half of all Latino students in higher education are enrolled in just 6% of the institutions of higher education in the United States. This concentration of Latino enrollment in higher education was first recognized by educators and policymakers in the 1980s and contributed to the invention of a new construct, which came to be known as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). This report serves as a primer on the conditions and history behind their invention, the processes for identification and the general institutional characteristics of HSIs. It also offers an overview of how these institutions are contributing to Latino student success. Also available online is a brief fact sheet. (Deborah A. Santiago, Excelencia in Education, March 2006)...

Latino High School Students and Baccalaureate Graduates - The second in a three-part series of the Latino Students and the Educational Pipeline study, this report examines the primary differences between Latino and white students who have completed a bachelorís degree and other levels of education. The report details background characteristics, preparation for postsecondary education and employment outcomes. Findings include: (1) 43% of Hispanic bachelor's completers had parents with a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 56% of white students; (2) Hispanic bachelor's completers earned on average a 3.1 gradepoint average in high school, compared to 3.2 for white students; and (3) Hispanic bachelor's degree completers earned an average of $24,810 a year, compared to $28,938 for white students. (Watson Scott Swail, Alberto F. Cabrera, Chul Lee and Adriane Williams, Educational Policy Institute, April 2005)...

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