Equity & Diversity

Report Outlines Top Colleges Graduating Latino Students

By Caralee J. Adams — March 07, 2012 2 min read
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A list of the top 25 colleges and universities graduating Latinos was unveiled today by Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based national nonprofit advocating for Latino success in higher education.

The report, “Finding Your Workforce: The Top 25 Institutions Graduating Latinos” included students in 2009-2010 who completed certificates and degrees at two-year and four-year public, private, and non-profit institutions — many concentrated in the South.

Among the trends revealed:
• Public colleges and universities lead in granting the most bachelor’s degrees to Latinos.

• For-profits institutions are the most common route for Latinos seeking a certificate.

• At the master’s level, Latinos are as likely to attend private non-profits as public colleges.

• Latinos seeking doctorates are more likely to graduate from a public school than from others.

The top 25 institutions at each academic level conferring certificates or degrees to Latinos were concentrated in 14 states. By institution type, here are the top schools:

• Certificate in less than one year - United Education Institute, Huntington Park, Calif.

• Certificate more than one year, but less than two-year course of study: Instituto de Banca y Comercio, Puerto Rico

• Associate degree - Miami-Dade College, Florida

• Bachelor’s degree - Florida International University, Florida

• Master’s degree - Florida International University

• Doctoral degree - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

In a press call this morning, Deborah Santiago, vice president for policy and research at Excelencia in Education, said that Latinos need to earn 5.5. million certificates or degrees by 2020 to meet national college-completion goals. To keep on track, that translates into 240,000 by 2010. Latinos actually earned 360,000 degrees or certificates that year, putting them ahead of schedule. “We think that’s something to note of value and merit,” she said. “We need to celebrate the progress, but know that more needs to be done.”

Of all the postsecondary credentials awarded in 2009-2010, Hispanics represented 10 percent of graduates. At the time time, Latinos represented 12 percent of postsecondary enrollments. Latinos had higher representation at certificate levels (16-19 percent) than at graduate levels (4-6 percent.). Latinos represented almost 30 percent of all graduates from the top 25 institutions awarding degrees to Latinos, according to the report.

As the Latino population expands nationally faster than most other groups and the need for skilled workers rises, the report is one way of highlighting the need to improve educational attainment, according to Santiago. Hispanics had the highest labor force participation rate (68 percent) of any racial/ethnic group (65 percent overall). However, participation is generally in lower-paying jobs.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.