April 10, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Hispanic higher education enrollments at an all-time high, never has there been a more important moment to address opportunities to expand the role of Latinos in higher education,
, Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of Educational Testing Service (ETS), noted in her keynote address at the
-based Latino Institute's annual conference today.
The two-day gathering explored the roles of Latinos in higher education and covered the full gamut of themes and issues surrounding the growth of the Latino student population, the effects of immigration reform, the adoption of the Dream Act, and the roles of Latino faculty and administrators.
Rather than focus on the well-documented challenges and roadblocks for Latinos who pursue higher education, Donado focused instead on the good news and positive trends that so many of the attendees to the conference are enabling. She noted, for example, that:
- Latino high school drop-out rates are declining
- Hispanic higher education enrollments are growing — and are now at an all-time high
- People are more aware that dual-language ability is a valuable asset
- Research shows that bilingual children have cognitive abilities that surpass those of most of their peers
- Growing attention is being given to English learners
- Community-based groups are taking charge
- Awareness of the political influence of Hispanics is growing
- Latinos are positioned better than ever to shape public policy
- The numbers of Latino university administrators are growing
She described successful programs and best practices nationally and locally for attracting, retaining and graduating Latinos. She also outlined the challenge of capitalizing on the positives to address the negatives.
"National Hispanic organizations must coalesce and become more forceful advocates for greater educational opportunity," Donado said. "Foundations, corporations and government agencies must also be more flexible and visionary in their giving policies. Sadly — despite our great needs — Latino organizations receive only about 3 percent of philanthropic dollars."