How are Hispanics Performing Academically?

For my first blog post I wanted to provide an overview of the academic performance of Hispanics by utilizing educational attainment rates. The results show Hispanics have historically been underperforming academically and continue to underperform, predominantly due to living in underfunded neighborhoods with poor access to jobs.

Hispanics have Low Educational Attainment Rates

Sadly, Hispanics have the lowest high school educational attainment rates and the second-lowest college attainment rates as shown in the graph belowAmerican Indians and Alaskan Natives are the only groups to underperform Hispanics to complete an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree. The trend shown for master’s degrees is worrisome because Hispanics have had declining educational attainment rates for the last three years. Meanwhile, other groups are showing either stagnant or increasing educational attainment.

Hispanics performing academically

Due to limited high school completion rates, not many Hispanics enroll in postsecondary education programs. The few that do mainly enroll and graduate from certificate programs and associate degree programs. The data is shown in the stacked bar chart below. At higher levels of education, the number of degrees awarded to Hispanics declines. This is the case in my university where only 10% of graduate students are Hispanics. Most graduate students are Asian (26%) and White (50%). 

Hispanics performing academically

Why are Hispanics Underperforming Academically?

Hispanics have low educational attainment because we typically live in neighborhoods with lower levels of public investment. This results in limited early childhood education centers and underfunded schools with limited resources. In addition, these neighborhoods have poor access to jobs and job networks. As a result, families tend to have low incomes. 

Students increasingly enroll in overcrowded and underfunded open-access colleges that do not provide the resources needed to adequately support Hispanic education and retention. Starting off with a poor education makes it difficult for students to perform well in college later. 

Why does this matter?

In the next blog post, I will discuss the effects not pursuing an education has on the Hispanic community.

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Stephanie Taboada

Stephanie Taboada

The author of this post is a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Candidate. As a Latina and a STEM professional, Stephanie is passionate about incentivizing Hispanics to pursue STEM. Read Stephanie's blog to understand the benefits that exist in STEM for underrepresented groups. Follow her on social media to know when the next blog posts.

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