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ERIC Number: ED502061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Access and Achievement: Building Educational and Career Pathways for Latinos in Advanced Technology. Report on a National Study of Latino Access to Postsecondary Education and Careers in Information Technology
Tornatzky, Louis G.; Macias, Elsa E.; Jenkins, Davis; Solis, Carlos
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
One of the generally accepted premises of current economic thinking is that a large and expanding proportion of growth is tied to what has come to be known as the "knowledge economy" or equivalently, the innovation sector. Despite recent U.S. Census Bureau data indicating that Latinos now constitute the largest minority group of the U.S. population, their representation in science and engineering jobs and/or in the science and engineering educational pipeline is quite low, particularly in information technology-related fields. Patterns of under-representation are present in virtually all science, engineering and technology disciplines and careers. This report is intended to serve as an essay on the general state of research and policy analysis pertaining to Latino access to and achievement in technical career paths. The report articulates the policy, substantive and methodological framework for the study and discusses obstacles Latinos face on the educational path that leads to information technology (IT) careers, drawing on field work in high schools and undergraduate institutions that are relatively effective in preparing Latinos to earn undergraduate credentials in IT, as well as on a survey of recent high school graduates. Results are presented as broad descriptions of post-secondary institutions that seem to be associated with enrolling and graduating Latino students in IT-related programs, followed by a mix of organizational policies and practices that exemplify a particular theme and statistical findings derived from data components that lend themselves to quantitative analyses. Schools and colleges that are relatively effective in enabling Latinos to complete undergraduate programs in information technology are distinguished by a mission that focuses on serving Latinos and other underrepresented students. The research team recommends a "Consumers' Directory for Latino Parents and Students", with initial experimental editions for the Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston metropolitan areas. The directory would streamline the performance metrics that were utilized in the current project, develop an approach to categorize key product features, and have detailed descriptions of a range of programs, an imitation of the "Consumer Reports" format, written in simple, accessible language and available in both English and Spanish. While acknowledging that this is an untried approach, the research team strongly urges that it be tried with this population of families and students. Data tables are appended. (Contains 16 footnotes and 6 tables.)
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Ralph and Goldie Lewis Hall, 650 Childs Way Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626. Tel: 213-821-5615; Fax: 213-821-1976; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: Tomas Rivera Policy Inst., Claremont, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A