Original URL: http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/news/7690.php

Colleges urged to help out Hispanics
With Hispanics graduating from high school in numbers that will keep increasing for years, the head of a higher education group that released a new report on the trend says colleges need to step up efforts to accommodate the nation's largest minority.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education projects that Hispanics will account for 21 percent of the country's public high school graduates in 2008, up from 17 percent in 2002.

The commission found that nearly 5 million Hispanics were enrolled in the country's public elementary and high schools in 1993-94.

By the 2007-08 school year, it projects that Latino public school enrollment will be about 9 million.

"In general, colleges are still not prepared," said David Longanecker, executive director of the interstate commission.

The group's report, "Knocking at the College Door," is released every five years and is used by local school districts, states and higher education to track enrollment trends.

"We know there is a relationship between race and income and academic preparedness," Longanecker said. "But we don't have the support services in place to enhance the success that we need."

T. Jaime Chahin, a scholar at the Tomas Rivera Center at Trinity University in San Antonio, said schools across the country need to do a better job of recruiting and retaining Latino faculty members who can serve as role models for Hispanic undergraduates.



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