Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 5
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"The Increasing Presence, 2000), this presents a nationwide problem since projections for growth
in the Latino population will result in an undereducated, rapidly growing population. The HACU
leadership believes that "the future of our nation will depend heavily on assuring that Hispanics
have improved access to high quality postsecondary education" (HACU "The Increasing
Presence," 2000). When looking at higher education trends at the highest levels of education, just
3.4% of doctoral degrees were conferred on Latino students in 2002. In the same year, 4.8% of
first professional degrees conferred were received by Latino students (US Bureau of the Census,
2003). This lack of Latinos at the highest levels of educational attainment has resulted in fewer
scientists and doctors of Latino descent, which has resulted in what the Sullivan Commission
(2004) calls "profound" implications for the healthcare system in the US. These inequities in the
number of Latinos earning the highest degrees in science and medicine as compared to the
overall student population is linked to disparities in the healthcare system for Latinos. These
disparities result in higher levels of sickness, disability, and death among Latinos (IOM, 2003;
To improve the participation of Latinos in higher education, the barriers that have
traditionally existed for Latino students must be addressed. A report commissioned by the Board
of Regents for the University of California (Hayward, Brandes, Kirst, & Mazzeo, 1997),
identified some of the barriers to higher education for historically underrepresented groups. The
barriers include less access to information, lack of counseling and advisement to take higher
level courses, tracking and ability grouping practices, test taking requirements of universities,
course-taking patterns of students, under-prepared teachers at the secondary school level,
aspirations or expectations that are lacking because of reduced numbers of role models, cultural
and family pressures to work or marry early in life, and the cost of higher education. Students
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Colley, Kay Lynne. Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center., dissertation, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3687/m1/15/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .