An Analysis of Extant Data that Addresses Sociological, Curricular, Instructional, and Academic Assessment Issues That Affect Hispanic Students’ College Readiness in South Texas

Humberto Gonzalez, Sandra Cavazos, Estela De La Garza, Edmundo Garcia, Jr., Erica Benavides Garcia, Elva Margarita Martinez, Annette Orozco Perez, Abraham Rodriguez, II, Gerardo S. Rodriguez, Maria De Lourdes Viloria

Abstract


The changing demographics in Texas and the southwest have created concern for educators in public schools and higher education. As Texas becomes a minority majority population, the challenges associated with diversity, the growing need to accelerate acculturation, the dilemma of English as a Second Language (ESL), and low socio-economic status are but a few of the many factors involved in educating a changing population.
The challenge for educators is daunting. Public schools must prepare more students for college. Universities and colleges must accept the students, retain them, accelerate their learning and graduate them. The reality is somber though, because not enough Hispanics students are graduating college ready. The number of students entering higher education and dropping out is considerable. Research shows that in Texas as many as one-third of high school students leave without graduating (Intercultural Development Research Association, 2005). The Hispanic population is expected to grow significantly in the Texas border region. Almost 45% of students in Texas public schools today are members of a minority population.
Of the students that can overcome obstacles and barriers and are able to graduate from high school, only one in five actually enrolls in a Texas public university in the fall, four enroll in a 2-year college and more than half do not enroll at all (IDRA, 2005). Of the high school students that are able to access a college education, one of four is economically disadvantaged, for Latinos, it is one of two (IDRA, 2005).
Yet, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, in Texas "low and middle income students have to bear 40% of their family’s income for a public four-year college and 30% of the annual family income for a community college." In contrast, tuition has increased 29% for 2-year institutions and 63% for 4-year institutions.
This study will reflect on social, academic, and college readiness issues pertaining to Hispanic students in the South Texas region. Additionally, the study focused on comparing extant data to regional, state, and national levels.
It will be the intent of this study to identify areas and issues that may help public schools and higher education institutions to better serve the Hispanic community of South Texas by presenting existing data that is relevant and applicable.

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