Helping Latinos Make the Best Postsecondary Choice

Each year, more and more Latinos are choosing to pursue a postsecondary education. Latinos pursuing a postsecondary education are vital to our nation’s economic, political and social future. Simply making the choice to postsecondary degree, however, is not enough. An overwhelming number of Latinos that start a degree do not finish. We need to ensure that Latinos not only enter, but also succeed in postsecondary education.

An important, and often overlooked aspect of ensuring college completion begins before students ever take a class—the postsecondary choice process. The choice process is a complex journey that often requires students to know about what kind of program they want to pursue, what they need to do to get in and how they will pay for it. Latinos often embark on this journey without this critical information, which leads them to make the wrong postsecondary choice. In order to reverse this cycle, we need to need to make sure that Latinos have the right information, in the right format, and are guided by the right people.


The Right Information

Data that determines a student’s success in postsecondary and beyond is vital to college choice process. Information focused on access to higher education, such as admission requirements, major requirements and financial aid is important but only tell a portion of the story. Postsecondary completion rates underscore an institution’s commitment to student success. For example, if institutions have success in graduating Latinos, it is likely that students will feel supported in their path to a postsecondary degree. With a majority of Latinos enrolling in community colleges, it is critical to understand how many and how often students successfully complete a transfer to a four-year institution. Information on where an institutions’ graduates are employed tells a perspective student how quickly and how likely they can secure full-time employment upon graduation.

The Right Format

Simply having the right information is not enough. Data have to be in a format that are accessible and easy-to-understand. For Latino students, it is important that this information is presented in a format that allows them to easily compare similar institutions across key metrics. Ranking systems like the US News and World Report are inherently flawed and in many instances Latinos do not know they exist. More importantly, however, the current systems are not tailored for Latinos, who are more likely than their peers to be first-generation and low-income students. This past week, President Obama released his much anticipated and highly controversial rating system. The ambitious initiative continues a long line of attempts to help provide clear, concise postsecondary information to students and parents. With a focus on college accessibility for low-income students, affordability, academic progress and employment after colleges, this system attempts to capture the right information in the right format.

The Right People

Without the right people to help guide the college choice process for young Latinos, data —no matter what the format— is useless. Mentors are critical to help ensuring that students are prepared for and succeed in college. Armed with the right information, mentors can motivate students and ensure that they make the best choice for them and their families. First-generation college graduates, can provide additional information to perspective students on their postsecondary experiences. This information, in some instances, is the most important of all as it can help Latinos gain the cultural capital that will set them up for success in postsecondary education and beyond.

We all have a role to play in helping Latinos make the best postsecondary choice. Advocates and policymakers can continue to their work to ensure that we have the right data, and in the right format to help low-income and minority students make their choices. Mentors from various backgrounds can encourage students think about why this information is important and share their experiences on the obstacles to completing a postsecondary degree. This combination will help more Latino students not only enter but also succeed in college. The future of our nation depends on it.


Amilcar Guzmán lives in the Washington D.C. area and works for CASA de Maryland. He is currently a Ph.D student at the University of Maryland and writes about Latinos and education, college access, success and student loan debt. You can follow him @AmilcarGuzman1.

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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.