Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 2
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education, it is likely that economic difficulties in Texas will be aggravated (Combs. 2006).
The proportion of the U.S. Hispanic population over 25 years of age and not earning a
high school diploma has historically been nearly twice that of Blacks (43% vs. 21%), and almost
four times the rate of the White population (Swail, Redd, & Perna, 2003). Since both the number
of Hispanic high school students in Texas and the proportion of the total Texas population that is
Hispanic is projected to increase significantly in the coming years, the problem of low
participation of Hispanics in both secondary and higher education will likely become more acute.
In the academic year of 2013-2014, it is projected that there will be over 540,000 Hispanic
students in U.S. high schools, a 73% increase from 2001-2002 (Noel Levitz, 2006). Though the
number of high school participants is anticipated to increase, the high school dropout rate is a
concern. Hispanic students are overrepresented in dropout rates and underrepresented in
graduation rates in higher education as opposed to any other ethnicity (Fry, 2002). This has been
the trend since 1972 as Blacks and Whites have consistently had a lower dropout rate than
Hispanics (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2007a, 2007b). To the extent that college
attrition remains unaddressed for this population, there is a potential of producing race discourse,
jeopardizing both social and race relationships in Texas.
Further evidence of this underrepresentation of Hispanics in the educational system
directly impacting Texas can be found in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's
(THECB, 2008) Closing the Gaps plan. This initiative sets a goal of 1,650,000 enrolled in
college by 2015 with 676,100 being Hispanic students. Texas State Data Center reinforced the
concern of higher education by stating that the Hispanic population, which is traditionally
underrepresented in college, will rapidly increase and out-pace the traditionally represented
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Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/m1/13/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .