The NASPA Community Colleges Division Latino Task Force (NASPA CCD LTF) was recently selected as one of the Commitments to Action for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as part of their 25th anniversary call to action. On Friday, October 16, President Obama announced 150 Commitments to Action with a collective investment of over $350 million which will build on, and accelerate federal, state, and local investments in high-quality education, from cradle-to-career for the nation’s Latino community. Learn more about the White House Initiative on Educational Excellent for Hispanics and their Commitments to Action here.
The NASPA Community Colleges Division started the Latino Task Force initiative under the leadership of Dr. Magdalena de la Teja. The purpose of this initiative is to develop a plan to advance Latinos in the profession of student affairs who seek to work or are currently working at community colleges. The initiative will also focus on creating a pipeline from college, through graduate school, to employment for Latino students interested in or seeking to pursue a career in student affairs at community colleges.
Increasing the presence of Latinos in the profession of student affairs within the community college is significant because of the growing Latino demographic in the U.S. and the choice Latinos are making to start their higher education experience within the community college.
Excelencia in Education (a national, independent, not-for-profit organization with the mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education) in a report entitled, The Condition of Latinos in Education, 2015 Factbook (January) cites the following statistics regarding Latinos in the United States and their educational progress:
- Latinos are the second largest racial/ethnic group and the fastest growing demographic in the United States;
- Latinos are significantly younger than the majority and are more likely to live in poverty; in 2011, Hispanics represented 24% of public school enrollment and are projected to represent 30% by 2023;
- Latino enrollment in higher education was the second highest of all racial/ethnic groups;
- Latinos were more likely to enroll in community colleges than all other groups; in 2012, 46% of Latinos in higher education were enrolled in community colleges, compared to African American (34%), Asian (32%), and White (31%) students in higher education;
- Over two-thirds of all Latino students at two-year institutions enrolled at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI);
- Latinos had lower levels of educational attainment than other groups.
Additionally, Excelencia, in Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future cites the following:
- In 2012, 21.3 percent of Latino adults had earned an associate degree or higher compared to 40.1 percent of all adults.
- By 2025, half of all U.S. workers will be of Latino descent.
- By 2025, 63 percent of all jobs will require some post-secondary education.
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