As California’s biggest, and growing racial/ethnic group, the success of Latinx students is critical to meeting future workforce demands
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity released the 2018 “State of Higher Education for Latinx in California” report, which documents some of the progress California has made in providing college opportunity to its Latinx students, as well as the gaps in college attainment, access and completion allowed to persist by the state’s colleges and universities. As the largest – and growing- student population in the state, if California fails to close the college attainment gap between Latinx and White students there will be grave consequences for the state’s economic standing as the fifth largest economy in the world.
Over 50% of California’s K-12 students are Latinx and a record number of Latinx students are graduating from high school, passing the courses required for university admission and going to college. In fact, 1.3 million Latinx students are enrolled in college today which is over half a million more Latinx college students compared to the year 2000. College graduation rates are also on the rise and while these are all promising trends, there is also troubling news.
Despite representing 40% of California’s total population, Latinx still have the lowest proportion of college degree earners and the highest proportion of people who have not graduated from high school. High schools graduate Latinx students at a lower percentage and do not provide equitable access to the classes needed for college admission to Latinx students compared to other races. And, colleges and universities have allowed the gap in completion between Latinx and White students to rise instead of close.
The good news for California:
- California is graduating more Latinx students from high school. 86% of Latinx 19 year-olds have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Latinx transfer to California State University (CSU) campuses grew 10 percentage points between Fall 2010 (57%) and Fall 2016 (67%), thanks to the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).
- Time to degree has decreased for Latinx students at University of California (UC) campuses. Only 38 percent of Latinx who entered the UC in fall of 2000 graduated within four years compared to 49% of the class who entered in 2010 – an 11 percent point improvement.
- The gap between White students’ and Latinx students’ completion rates at California Community Colleges and graduation rates for transfer students within four years of enrolling at CSU has narrowed over time.
The bad news:
- Only 18% of Latinx adults have a college degree compared to 52% of Whites.
- The gap in bachelor’s degree attainment between Latinx and Whites increased from 30 to 31 percentage points in the last decade.
- California community colleges fail to support more than one half of Latinx students to attain a credential or transfer. Only two percent of Latinx transfer in two years, 31 percent in six years.
- Differences in six-year graduation rates between White and Latinx students have increased at CSU and UC.
- Faculty, Academic Senate bodies, college leadership, and governance are not reflective of the Latinx population or student body.