Column by Irma Becerra and James Dyke: Support from HSI and HBCU will benefit every Virginia | Chroniclers







MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY


By Irma Becerra and James Dyke

By Irma Becerra and James Dyke

Last year, Marymount University took a milestone when it was independently named as the premier institution serving Hispanics in Virginia – an achievement recognized by Governor Ralph Northam in his State of Commonwealth.

By 2030, the Latinx population in the United States is expected to increase by 25%. As this group grows, the need to create a more equitable path to success in higher education also increases. Latinx’s success in higher education will benefit not only the Latinx community, but our economy as well. Experts predict we’ll need an additional 6.2 million Latinx students to graduate from college over the next 10 years just to meet workforce needs.

The game, however, is stacked against the Latinx students. They have the lowest school success rate of any major racial group in the United States, with just 19% of them earning a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 25% for blacks and 35% for whites. In Virginia, we see similar barriers for under-represented groups in both college graduation and high school student enrollment in college.

Last fall, higher education nationwide saw a 5% drop in Latinx undergraduate enrollment after a decade of steady positive growth for this group. Additionally, as distance learning has become a dominant issue in American education, barriers based on race and ethnicity have become increasingly apparent. As US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “Fairness is an important factor for us to move forward. Institutions like HSI play a major role in this regard.

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