Latinos in Higher Education

April 29, 2015

California's 15 million Latinos have made strides in their educational attainment in recent decades, but deep achievement gaps persist, according to a new report from the Campaign for College Opportunity, an advocacy group. For example, only 12 percent of working-age Latinos in the state hold a bachelor's degree, the report found, compared to 42 percent of non-Hispanic white Californians. Latinos are underrepresented across all three of the state's higher education systems. And the report found that roughly two-thirds of those students attend community colleges, where only 39 percent earn a degree or certificate or transfer within six years.

Another recently released report found that, nationwide, more Latinos are earning credentials in health professions. The study, from Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit advocacy group, found that Latinos who graduated with credentials in health professions in 2013 were highly concentrated in certificate and associate-degree programs for some of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation. But those jobs are typically in support roles, such as personal care aides and home health aides. And those jobs tend to pay less than ones in practitioner roles, such as dentists, physicians and surgeons.

“Health care support jobs pay about a quarter as much as health care practitioners, so this is a very real disparity," Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education’s chief operating officer and vice president for policy, who co-authored the report, said in a written statement.

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