When Keivan Stassun arrived at Vanderbilt University’s department of physics and astronomy in 2003 as an assistant professor, he saw neighboring, historically black Fisk University as an obvious collaborator. The two institutions are two miles apart in Nashville. “Look, we have two good things here and they’re practically touching," he recalls thinking. "There must be something we can do with what we’ve got.”
Whether by choice or by necessity, community colleges are the dominant institution for Latino students: Nearly three in five Hispanic students in postsecondary education attend a two-year college, a far greater proportion than for any other racial or ethnic group.