Hispanics in Florida are Setting the New Higher Education Trend
For several years now, President Obama has been stressing the importance of higher education levels for all Americans. In order to be internationally competitive – which is becoming more and more important in today’s age – we have to have more people pursuing a college-level education. But where can this trend start? How do we convince parents who did not earn a higher education to encourage their children to further their studies? The answer could be the largest growing minority group in the U.S.: Hispanics.
Hispanics are expected to create the vast majority of our nation’s population growth between now and 2050. Currently, Hispanics comprise a little more than 20 percent of pre-kindergarten students through high school seniors. These students have not been known for pursuing a higher education in the past; in fact, for years they have had lower college graduation rates than the general population.
However, this trend seems like it is about to change. In Florida, 32 percent of Hispanic adults have earned at least an associate’s degree. How does this compare to the national average? Only 19 percent have earned an associate’s degree. Obviously something is going on in Florida that is allowing Hispanics to achieve more than they can in other parts of the nation. The Hispanic population in Florida is quite sizable, meaning many members of the Hispanic population in this area have higher income levels. Hispanic children in Florida are also more likely to have higher educated parents, which explains why they would be more motivated to earn a higher education themselves.
“It’s good news for Florida,” said Sarita Brown, Excelencia in Education president. “But it’s also a story that there’s lots more work to be done.”
What should the rest of the nation do in order to see similar results in their Hispanic populations? Juan Sepúlveda is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Sepúlveda says that one area that states should focus on is early education for Hispanics, as early as pre-kindergarten. Less than half of Hispanic children who are pre-kindergarten aged are currently enrolled in pre-kindergarten. This gives them a disadvantage when compared with their peers who have been attending school from an earlier age.
It seems that an earlier education leads to a higher education in this case, which makes perfect sense to me. But what about you? What do you think? Share your opinions with us below in the comment section.
Via Hispanic Trending