Thursday, September 6, 2012

Despite LIfe Struggles Latino/as with a College Education Continue to Rise in Numbers

Latinos in college or that have graduated from college the United States growing large in numbers.  On August 20th the Pew Hispanic Center released their report "Now Largest Minority Group on Four-Year College Campuses:Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011". It makes me so hapy to hear that more Latinos are going to college and getting a higher education, but I also wonder if we are moving up in education as fast as we are increasing in population?

Education Rates for U.S. Latinos on the Rise 

My questions continue, however. How many of the Latinos (1 in 6 students in college-see infographic above) are attending a community college? I know that the majority of Latinos attend community college. This year, the California-based Campaign for College Opportunity reported that only 14% Latino students transfer to four-year universities, compared to 28% of white students. They also found that although Latinos ages 18-24 represent nearly half of the California's college-age population they are underrepresented at four -year colleges. 

There are many of the factors that are intertwined and delay students from transferring and graduating with a college degree. Latinos are more likely to be of low-income and  they have to work, sometimes full-time positions; also they are likely be the first in their families to go to college, they do not fully understanding the complex system of education. It's not as easy as non-Latinos, excluding African Americans, may think.

As for me, my college career wasn't that easy. It took me 5 years to finally get out of Cerritos College. There were a few of points in my journey there where I thought that there was no way and I'd be there forever--I could just not see transferring out. Eventually, though, with the help and support of my family, and the advice and guidance from people (who I now know could have been called "mentors" and of course,  my hardword and tencaity I finally transferred to UCI!
Back when I was at UCI I barely fit the 18-24 age range (based on the info graphic above) at the university. I already was 23  by the time I transferred and boy, I felt old! After 4 years (instead of just 2!) at UCI I finally graduated with a bachelor's in Psychology, which I loved. My educational experiences have not been traditional in any shape of form. My experiences are unique and I've learned so much on my way. Today, I am struggling with my thesis to get my M.S. degree and graduate!

So one of my life's goals is to motivate Latino/as to go to college and be empowered. Little by little we're changing the face of America and we must continue to be persistent and tenacious in pursuing our dreams in this country. 



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