On January 20, 2016, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics hosted a Bright Spots in Hispanic Education Google+ Hangout session highlighting efforts focused on the postsecondary education completion of all students, including Latino and undocumented students, around the country. Beatriz Ceja, Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division Director at the U.S. Department of Education, and I were joined by representatives from Bright Spots in Illinois, Ohio, New York, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Texas.
The Google+ Hangout was a lively and informative discussion on promising practices and strategies supporting and investing in postsecondary education in order to close the completion gap for Hispanic students. Hispanic students comprise the largest minority group on college campuses, however, as of 2012, only 22% of young Hispanics attained an associate’s degree or higher (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013). In addition, according to a 2012 white paper for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, nearly one in two Latino college students are the first in their family to attend a higher education institution. Their navigation of higher education is often a challenge and concern for them and their families. Helping ensure they persist and complete their postsecondary education by providing them the tools and resources needed to do so is crucial to both their success and the success of the nation. Bright Spots that were featured are helping to combat disparities and increase the number of Latino college graduates through their efforts.
“…The demographics in North Carolina have quickly been transforming over the last two decades and we’re really seeing that first hand in our educational system. And so, simply puts SLI in business of creating social and cultural capital and I think that’s really key to get our students through high school into college and to succeed in college…” Ricky Hurtado, UNC-Chapel Hill, Scholars’ Latino Initiative
The work of these Bright Spots is crucial for our future generation. In order to achieve success, Latino students need guidance prior to college enrollment and throughout their undergraduate career. From career development to closing the graduation gap between Latinos and their white counterparts, these Bright Spots continue to raise the bar for our Latino students. All of these organizations understand the importance of a post-secondary education and they have made a commitment to help students maximize their potential.
The next Google+ Hangout will take place on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 in Spanish and will focus on Family Engagement. We hope you will join us as we continue to work together to build on the progress made for Hispanic students throughout the nation.
- Financial Student Aid tool kit: http://www.financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/
- ¡Gradúate! Financial Aid Guide to Success
- Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth
- Bright Spots in Hispanic Education National Catalog
- Office of Postsecondary Education Programs and Initiatives
- Funding for Institutional Services
- Funding for Student Services
To view the full engagement video here: https://goo.gl/jBKOvf
Upcoming topics and dates:
- Family Engagement (Spanish) – February 17, 2016
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education – March 16, 2016
- Latino Teacher Recruitment – April 20, 2016
- Early Learning-May 18,2016
Marco Davis is the Deputy Director for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics