Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 10
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Rationale of the Study
The need to understand how Latino students cope with graduate education is clear.
National statistics show that while Latinos remain underrepresented in graduate education, they
are becoming an increasingly important minority group in regard to population trends (Benitez,
1998; Laden, 2001). Without a plan to improve Latino participation at the graduate level, the US
will experience severe shortages in qualified workers to fill top-level jobs and healthcare
positions that will begin to open as the Baby Boom generation retires. This inevitability has been
recognized by the national government and state governments throughout the nation, which is
why such laws as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board's plan, Closing the Gaps by 2015, were developed-to close the gaps in K-16 education.
Instituting the Hispanic Serving Institution Act during reauthorization of the Higher Education
Act in 1993 was a step toward increasing the percentage of Latinos in higher education by
providing funding specifically for institutions that serve a high percentage of Hispanic students,
but little has been done to address the issues of graduate and professional education.
The number of Latino students who enter higher education is not proportionate to the
number of Latino people who make up the US population (Justiz, 1995; "Revelations and
Recommendations," 2001). This fact then becomes a pipeline issue, resulting in fewer Latinos
attaining a baccalaureate degree, resulting in even fewer Latino students entering graduate or
professional schools (Cabrera & La Nasa, 2005; Sorenson et al., 1995). The result is a
significantly lower success rate for Latino students in professional and graduate education. This
rate, coupled with a significant increase in the Latino population, will result in an educational,
social, cultural, and economic problem for Latinos and the US overall as the Latino population
becomes the majority minority group during the 21st century ("Revelations and
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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/m1/20/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .