A report released by Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit that promotes policies to improve Latino achievement in higher education, shows that approximately 17 percent of Latino adults in Texas have an associate degree or higher, compared with 34 percent of all Texas adults.
The graduation rate for Latino college students in Texas is about 10 percentage points lower than that of white students, according to the report.
A major dilemma with the Closing the Gaps initiative involves keeping up with growth in the Hispanic population. In Texas, according to legislative testimony, the rates of college success are improving, but not fast enough.
Here's a link to the full report. There is nothing terribly surprising about the findings, alas. However, it's interesting to use the interactive feature of the site to compare Texas with other states. Florida, a state with many similarities to Texas, posts better results, for instance.
In terms of what appears to be working, here's the take of the Texas Tribune, in an article by Holly Heinrich.
Dual-enrollment programs like the one offered by the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, for example, may provide solutions for increasing Latino enrollment, retention and graduation rates.
The program allows South Texas high school students to receive simultaneous credit for high school and college-level classes, at a cost of only $5 per course to the student. The courses are taught at the student’s high school campus, often by the high school’s teachers. Excelencia found that the one-year retention rate for former dual-enrollment students at UTB was 73 percent, compared with a 59 percent retention rate for students who did not participate in the dual-enrollment program.
Excelencia in Education's report also commended the University of Texas at El Paso's Model Institutions for Excellence program, which aims to increase the number of minority students who receive degrees in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. In 2004-05, 374 out of 440 such degrees were awarded to Latino students at UTEP.