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Report: Southwestern Excels in Graduating Hispanic Students

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The result of making Hispanic graduation rates a priority for more than 25 years, says President

A new report published by The Education Trust says Southwestern has one of the best track records in the country when it comes to graduating Hispanic students in comparison to white students.

The report is titled “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Do Better than Others in Graduating Hispanic Students.”

Southwestern is one of 34 private colleges in the country listed as having the lowest “gap” between the percent of Hispanic students who graduate and the percent of white students who graduate.

Southwestern had a Hispanic graduation rate of 71.6 percent compared to a white graduation rate of 73.5 percent. This means that Southwestern has a “gap” of less than two percent. This compares to an overall “gap” at private institutions of 10.5.

The figures were taken from a national government database and covered the years 2006-2008.

The report says that Hispanic graduation rates are important because Latinos are poised to constitute nearly one-third of the workforce by 2050. Currently, only 13 percent of young Latinos hold bachelor’s degrees, compared with 39 percent of whites and 21 percent of blacks.

Currently, fewer than half the Hispanic students who enter four-year colleges and universities graduate within six years, compared with about 60 percent of white students, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The report prepared by The Education Trust says that schools with the highest Hispanic graduation rates accomplished this in a combination of ways, including recruiting Hispanic students from their local communities, identifying struggling students early, and having a strong commitment to overall student success.

“Graduating our Hispanic students at a high rate has been a priority of Southwestern for more than 25 years,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “They comprise some of the brightest and most gifted students at Southwestern.  Good news like this challenges us to work even harder to raise the graduation rate for all of our students.”