Poll: TX Hispanic college students feeling more discrimination
Thursday, September 28, 2023
In a new poll, about a quarter of Hispanic students in post-high school education and training programs report feeling discriminated against, harassed, disrespected or unsafe.
Researchers from Gallup and Lumina Foundation also found more than half of Hispanic students have considered stopping out in the past year.
Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact and planning for Lumina Foundation, said the problem is growing.
"Unfortunately, you know, we're seeing that number go up," Brown observed. "Last year, the number was about 45% struggling to stay in school. This year we found about 50%. That's concerning."
Students reported the most discrimination took place in certification programs, many of which involve hours spent on work sites off campus. According to UnidosUS, in Texas in 2019 almost 665,000 Latino students were enrolled in higher education; almost 40 % of the total college population.
According to Excelencia in Education, about 46% of Latino students in Texas make it to graduation at four-year institutions, a rate 12 points lower than white students. Brown noted the reasons students stop out vary, with cost and caregiving responsibilities high on the list.
"That's why having on-campus child care is so important," Brown contended. "Having a food bank, having emergency financial services, because sometimes a flat tire may be all it takes for a student to not be able to make it to class, not able to make it to their job, and then consider stopping out."
Texas colleges have many programs to help Latino students stay in school. This year six of the 19 finalists for the Excelencia in Education annual prize are from the Lone Star State, including Houston Community Colleges, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas Women's College, and a community program called Breakthrough Central Texas.
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