Two perspectives on the Hispanic college graduation gap

Earlier this month, The Education Trust handed out grades for Hispanic college and degree attainment — and Idaho flunked.

Only 12.7 percent of Idaho’s Hispanic adults have a two- or four-year degree, the lowest percentage in the nation. That earned Idaho an “F” for attainment rates; Idaho was one of only five states to receive a failing grade.

Two perspectives on The Education Trust research, including one from Idaho:

An Idaho perspective. In Wednesday’s Idaho Press, reporter Nicole Foy looks at programs available to help Hispanic students. One is the College Assistant Migrant Program scholarship, a federal program available at the University of Idaho and Boise State University.

Even though Boise State’s CAMP scholarship is limited to one year, the numbers suggest it is making a difference. In 2016-17, 97 percent of Boise State CAMP recipients successfully completed their first year of college, Foy reports, while 91 percent completed their second year of school, at Boise State or another college.

A New Mexico perspective. The state with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents scored a “C-plus” in The Education Trust’s rankings.

“New Mexico is a majority-minority state, and every policy the department undertakes is through the lens of minorities and underserved populations,” New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Barbara Damron said in a written statement to the Albuquerque Journal.

Among the state’s policies: a higher education formula that rewards college and universities that educate low-income students, and a uniform course numbering system that allows students to transfer more easily.

Coming this fall: Idaho Education News will take an in-depth look at the “60 percent goal” — and the socioeconomic barriers the state will need to overcome to meet this milestone. Here is a link to our award-winning series from December on the elusive 60 percent goal.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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