Friday, October 10, 2008

Students Are No Longer Surpassing Parents’ Educational Achievement

This is very upsetting. I've listed some of the key points at the end of the article.

You can also check out the full study"Generational Gains in Postsecondary Education Appear To Have Stalled" here.


by Robin Chen Delos | Diverse Issues in Higher Ed
Oct 9, 2008

The American tradition of generational upward mobility is at a standstill, and for some minority groups the younger generation is obtaining postsecondary education at lower levels than older adults, according to a new report released Thursday by the American Council on Education (ACE).

The overall percentage of young adults in their 20s and older adults over 30 with at least an associate degree was almost the same. But lower numbers of Hispanics and Native Americans were earning higher education degrees than their elders. For Hispanics, 18 percent of the older generation held at least an associate degree as compared with only 16 percent of young Hispanics, according to the Minorities in Higher Education 2008 Twenty-third Annual Status Report.

“It appears we are at a tipping point in our nation’s history,” says ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “One of the core tenants of the American dream is the hope that younger generations, who’ve had greater opportunities for education advancement than their parents and grandparents, will be better off than the generations before them, yet this report shows that aspiration is at serious risk.”

Postsecondary achievement rates for Blacks remained the same between the younger and older generations, at about 24 percent. The two groups whose young people made gains over their elders were Asian Americans and Whites. Sixty-six percent of young Asian Americans holding at least an associate degree while 54 percent of the older generation had achieved the same level.

The generational achievement gap is an issue the presidential candidates should tackle, says Dr. Dolores Fernandez, president of predominantly Hispanic-serving City University of New York (CUNY)-Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College.

Though the economy was the main issue in this week’s presidential debate, “the fact that the younger generation is attaining less than the older generation is something that should really be ringing bells in this nation. Somebody needs to bring higher education and middle and high school education to the table, and it needs to be addressed in a very serious matter because we’re not paying attention to it like we should,” says Fernandez.

Report analysts found minority enrollment in colleges rose by 50 percent between 1995 and 2005. But despite record numbers of minorities attending college, progress was uneven and gaps widened. “This report demonstrates that educational progress, while significant, is not keeping pace with the changing demographic realities,” says Mikyung Ryu, assistant director in ACE’s Center for Policy Analysis and author of the report.

Gaps in higher education not only exist between different ethnic groups and generations, but also between men and women. Significantly lower numbers of males than females enroll in college. Across racial groups, 36 percent of young men enrolled in college as compared with 44 percent of their female peers. Some colleges are already actively working to encourage more males to enroll, specifically minorities. For instance, the CUNY system has an initiative to increase enrollment rates of minority men, according to Fernandez.

The report also looked at minorities working in higher education and found that though the numbers of minority faculty, administrators and presidents increased over the past decade, the vast majority of these positions are still filled by Whites.

More Key Findings from the Report:

*Total minority enrollment at the nation’s colleges and universities rose by 50 percent from 3.4 million students to 5 million students between 1995 and 2005. White enrollment increased from 9.9 million to 10.7 million, a gain of 8 percent.

*Students of color made up 29 percent of the nearly 17.5 million students on America’s campuses.

*Despite significant gains in college enrollment rates for young people from all races, progress was uneven and gaps widened. In 2006, 61 percent of Asian Americans aged 18 to 24 were enrolled in college compared with 44 percent of whites, 32 percent of African Americans, and 25 percent of Hispanics and American Indians respectively.

Additional Findings:

High School Completion

*The high school completion rate for African Americans aged 18 to 24 remained relatively flat over the past two decades at about 76 percent.

*Despite improving their rate of high school completion from 59 percent to 68 percent, Hispanics still had the lowest rate among all racial/ethnic groups.

*Asian Americans had the highest rate of high school completion at 91 percent.

College Enrollment

* College enrollment among African Americans rose by 46 percent between 1995 and 2005 to nearly 2 million students.

*The increase in Hispanic enrollment led all racial/ethnic groups, up by 66 percent to more than 1.7 million students. Hispanic enrollment grew faster at four-year institutions than at two-year institutions.

*Asian-American enrollment increased to more than 1 million over the 10-year period between 1995 and 2005, up 37 percent.

* American Indian enrollment grew by 31 percent in the 10-year period, up from nearly 127,000 in 1995 to nearly 167,000 in 2005.

* Regardless of race, the gender gap in the college enrollment rate continued among young people aged 18 to 24. Thirty-six percent of young men were enrolled in college in 2006 compared with 44 percent of young women.

College Persistence

*College persistence rates declined slightly, and these declines were more pronounced for students who began at two-year institutions, especially for Hispanics.

*Among students who began at two-year institutions in 1995 and 2003, 55 percent of the 2003 freshmen were still enrolled or had attained a certificate or degree anywhere in higher education three years later, compared with 60 percent for the 1995 cohort. For Hispanics, this rate dropped sharply from 62 percent to 54 percent.

*Among students who began at a four-year institution in 1995 and 2003, 81 percent of the 2003 cohort persisted, compared to 83 percent of the 1995 cohort.

Degrees Conferred

*Minorities outpaced whites in the percentage change in total degrees awarded at all levels over the past decade. Minority women showed stronger gains than minority men at all degree levels.

*The number of minorities earning associate degrees between 1995 and 2005 grew 84 percent to just over 201,000. The number of minorities earning bachelor’s degrees over the same period grew 65 percent to 355,000.

*Hispanics nearly doubled the number of bachelor’s degrees received over the last decade to more than 105,000. Hispanics also made dramatic gains in doctoral degrees earned, rising from 950 in 1995 to more than 1,700 in 2005, an increase of 83 percent.

*African Americans more than doubled the number of master’s degrees earned from nearly 25,000 in 1995 to nearly 53,000 in 2005. During the same period, the number of doctoral degrees earned by African Americans increased 84 percent from nearly 1,600 to nearly 2,900.

*During the past decade the number of Asian-American men receiving doctoral degrees dropped by 10 percent, while the number of Asian-American women receiving these degrees increased by 74 percent.

Degrees Conferred by Field

*In recent years, minorities and whites both experienced declines in the number of bachelor’s degrees earned in computer sciences. They also lost ground in engineering over the decade at the doctoral degree level.

Employment in Higher Education

*Although minorities have made gains as college faculty, administrators and presidents over the last decade, whites still fill the overwhelming majority of these positions.

*In 2005, minorities represented 17 percent of all college administrators; 16 percent of full-time faculty and 13 percent of college presidents.

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