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Latino Youth Leadership Conference Seeks to Improve College Graduation Rates



By Chris Hassan
Posted March 20, 2012 04:29 PM

Many Latino students leaving college early.
Many Latino students leaving college early.
In California, people of Hispanic or Latino origin make up 37.6% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, new data from the Campaign for College Opportunity’s Latinos and Higher Education report reveals that while these individuals do pursue higher education, many of them never earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, the Vallejo Times Herald reported.

Based on the report’s findings, many Latinos attend classes at community colleges, but only 22% earn a degree or transfer to another school. Furthermore, while there are students who wish to finish their studies at a four-year university, a number of them do not meet the admissions requirements set by these institutions.

The Times Herald highlighted statistics from Napa Valley College, where Latinos represented 31.6% of the student population during the fall 2011 semester. In the fall of 2007, only 27% of the Latino learners who took classes for the first time ended up graduating with a degree or certificate within three years.

"That's really disturbing," Michele Siqueiros, executive director for the Campaign for College Opportunity, told the Times Herald. "It doesn't bode well for the future."

However, action is already being taken to reverse this trend. On March 24, the Latino Youth Leadership Conference will place an emphasis on motivating youths from this population to achieve their higher education goals.

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