Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Advocacy Group Identifies Higher Ed Programs Helping Latinos

Each year the advocacy and policy group Excelencia in Education identifies college programs that are making strides in helping Hispanic students achieve success.

The organization just announced three examples of such programs at its annual conference in Washington, D.C., which are highlighted in the report “2013 What Works For Latino Students in Higher Education.”

The group seeks identify the strongest associate, undergraduate and graduate programs.

- On the associate level, Canada College in Redwood City, California, was recognized for The STEM Center Math Jam Program. Students participate in a one-week intensive summer math program that prepares them for the college’s math placement exam and for college-level math coursework. The goal is to bring students up to speed so they test out of remedial courses. According to NBC Latino, student participants in the program had a 74 percent graduation rate, compared with an overall 47 percent rate for Latinos who did not participate.

- At the bachelor’s level, the University of Texas at Brownsville was recognized for its Student Employment Initiative (SEI). The university is largely a commuter school, and SEI aims to offer students job opportunities on campus. That way, they feel more tied to the campus community, and are working in jobs where they can expand their skills. Students work in campus jobs that include positions such as lab coordinators, peer tutors, and teaching assistants. NBC reported that students in the program had a 53 percent four-year graduation rate, compared with 17.5 percent at the university. More students are also graduating within about four years, rather than six.

- At the graduate level, the Cooperative Pharmacy Program, operated jointly by the University of Texas Pan American and the University of Texas at Austin Cooperative Doctoral Program in Pharmacy was recognized. The six-year-long program targets recruiting students from South Texas to study for a doctor of pharmacy degree, therefore addressing the shortage of qualified pharmacists in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Students can either begin the program right after high school if they already know they want to study pharmacy, or may study at UT after completing pre-pharmacy classes at UTPA. So far, a number of graduates are already working in the field.

Related Links:

- “Top Programs Advancing Latino Achievement in Higher Education,” NBC Latino.
- “Excelencia in Education Honors Three Top Programs,” Diverse Issue in Higher Education.
- Excelencia in Education
- Math Jam/STEM Center – Canada College
- University of Texas at Brownsville Student Employment Initiative (SEI)
- Cooperative Pharmacy Program (UTPA/UT Austin)