More Hispanics enrolling in college, bachelor's degrees still elusive for many

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 11:06pm

As President of El Paso Community College, Dr. William Serrata has a front row seat to the findings of a new Pew Research study.

"We're starting to see more and more of the Latino population pursue higher education," Serrata said. "We are starting to develop that college-going culture."

According the Pew study, in 2012, a record 19% of all college students ages 18-24 were Hispanic.

But when the study took a look at young adults ages 25-29, only 9% of Hispanics had achieved a bachelor's degree or higher.

"What we see is that many of those students will start at the community college level," Serrata said. "They say their intent is to get a bachelor's degree and yet, five, six years later, we don't see them earning bachelor's degrees at the levels that they should."

Serrata said it's important to create opportunities that will help push students who wish to achieve higher level degrees.

But not every quality - or well-paying - profession necessarily requires a four-year degree, he added.

EPCC student Alma Cedillo knows all about that.

The Juàrez native is proud of her two-year higher education path to becoming a dental hygienist.

"Most people probably say, 'Why don't you just become a dentist?'" she said. "I don't want to be a dentist; I want to be a dental hygienist."

To view the results of the Pew Research Study, click the link below:


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