ERIC Number: ED264898
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-29
Reference Count: 0
The Myth of Social Equalization: Hispanics and Higher Education.
There is a popular and pervasive myth that higher education has been a potent social equalizer and great enfranchising vehicle for immigrants to the United States. Historic facts place the vast majority of yesterday's immigrants behind pushcarts or alongside mass production lines, waiting two or three generations before benefiting from the fruits of the U.S. educational system. Today's immigrants, who in New York City are largely Hispanic, find a different society--highly competitive, technological, trading on ideas, skills, and professional expertise. For them, problems such as linguistic isolation, lack of proper education, and lack of technical training lead to semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, providing neither room for upward mobility nor employment stability. The economic viability of minority youth and adults depends upon the success of the educational system. Graduation and retention rates, as well as trends in attendance choice and program interest, cast doubts about the success of the educational enterprise, and raise a number of serious programmatic issues, including the following: (1) to increase the pool of college-eligible minority students, college and high school faculty must collaborate to strengthen the English, math, and science components of the high school curriculum; (2) college adapter programs for out-of-school youth should be combined with effective career planning and education; and (3) colleges must reexamine recruitment strategies and the use of the Scholastic Aptitude Test for students for whom English is neither a dominant nor a first language. The average minority student has little chance of graduating in the absence of total institutional commitment to retention. It is not sufficient for higher education to admit students within its ivy walls; if the student is to succeed, the school must adapt to his/her needs. (EJV)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Access to Education, College Choice, Community Colleges, Educational Change, Educational Economics, Educational Opportunities, Educational Responsibility, Educational Trends, Enrollment Trends, Equal Education, Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Immigrants, Majors (Students), Relevance (Education), School Holding Power, Social Mobility, Student Attrition, Student Needs, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Puerto Rican Family Institute's Forum on the Rights of the Puerto Rican Migrant Family (November 29, 1983).