Lations Earn Fewer Degrees Than Other Races –

The goal is clear: increase the proportion of 25- to 34-year olds who have an associate degree or higher to 55% by the year 2025. This would make America the world leader in college graduates.

Unfortunately, reports show that Latinos are struggling academically when it comes to attaining degrees, compared to Asians, whites, and blacks. In order to achieve President Barack Obama’s goal of America having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, it’s critical to address the Latino college completion rate.

Excelencia in Education, an organization that strives to increase higher education success for Latino students, is trying to tackle the issue head on. In 2009, Excelencia in Education created the Ensuring America’s Future initiative in an effort to address the disparity in college completion rates among Latinos and their counterparts of other races.

In April 2012, the organization released research-based fact sheets of each U.S. state that includes data on the measures of equity gaps in degree attainment and practices to improve Latino college completion rates at higher education institutions. Results found that nationally, about 20% of Latino adults had a post-secondary degree, compared to more than 35% of all adults in the U.S. in 2010.

Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education co-founder and vice president for policy and research, said the findings “show that today’s investment, or lack thereof, in Latino academic preparation and degree attainment can have a compounding effect on state populations, economies, and communities in the near future.”

Other data from the fact sheets show nationally, the gap in degree attainment between Latino and white, non-Hispanic cohorts of first-time, full-time students was about 14%.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, said “the more leaders at the state level know about and understand Latino college completion in their respective states, the better equipped they will be to implement policies that move us forward.”

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN