Initiatives To Increase College Graduation Rates

Until recently, America has led the world in producing college graduates.

President Barack Obama has vowed that America will retake the lead by 2020, winning the support and funding of many organizations.

Higher-education groups have targeted many different groups and demographics, always trying to promote education to increase America’s overall number of college graduates. These groups have promoted the importance of this initiative to community colleges, public universities, African American students, college dropouts and other demographics.

Now, education groups and the Obama administration are targeting Hispanic students to increase America’s overall number of college graduates, hoping to reach its 2020 goal, according to an article in the Washington Post.

This concept was presented by non-profit organization Excelencia in Education, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and other major education advocacy groups.

This initiative, called Roadmap for Ensuring America’s Future, suggests that Hispanics will have to earn 5.5 million college degrees by 2020 for America to reach its goal of having 51 percent of the population being college or postsecondary degree graduates.

The 51% college graduation rate is fairly low, compared to other organizations’ goals of 55-60%.

Hispanics are now being targeted because they are the fastest growing minority group in America. The Hispanic population is projected to triple in size by 2050 and represent 29% of the U.S. population, all according to Pew Research.

Hispanics are also now being targeted because of their historically-low college-completion rates. Other cultural factors such as not wanting to incur college-loan debt also contribute to low-graduation rates.

“State and institutional initiatives that focus on those (Hispanic) students can make a big difference,” the Excelencia in Education group said in a release.

Research from the Excelencia in Education group indicates that Hispanic students often enroll in college later on in life and at community colleges closer to their homes.

This is great news for Hispanic students as many organizations will take a personal interest in increasing the number of Hispanic college students and graduates. Organizations are likely to create scholarships and other resources for prospective Hispanic college students.

Other than targeting specific groups and demographics, education organizations are also trying to create programs to better retain current, working college students, increase college-preparatory and dual-enrollment programs and simplify two- to four-year transfers and guarantee need-based aid to deserving students.