UTEP, EPCC among top institutions for graduating Latino students

Education

UTEP Saturday afternoon commencement, Saturday, May 18, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso is ranked second in Texas for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latino students, while El Paso Community College is ranked second for awarding associate’s degrees according to a new report.

The Washington D.C. – based organization Excelencia in Education, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to ensuring excellence in Latino education, released their 2017-2018 report this week. “Latino College Completion: United States” highlights the top institutions nationally and by state for enrolling and graduating Latino students.

We appreciate this recognition as one of the top universities not only in Texas, but in the country in serving Hispanic students,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson.

For bachelor’s degrees in Texas, the report ranked UTEP second with 3,429 students receiving their undergraduate degree in 2017–18. According to the report, of those students, 83% (2,847) were Hispanic.

Latinos make up 80% of UTEP’s student body.

Meanwhile, El Paso Community College ranks second in Texas for awarding associate’s decrees with 2,975 Hispanic students (87%) receiving degrees. Nationwide, EPCC ranks third in this category behind Miami Dade College and South Texas College.

“The top 5 institutions enrolling and graduating Hispanic students nationally and by state show a balance between access and completion by size and then effectiveness for Hispanic students,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education cofounder and CEO. “The institutions that are in the top 5 at the state level are making significant contributions to the state’s needs for access to higher education and to ensuring Latinos have the opportunity to earn degrees.”

Texas is home to the second largest Latino population in the United States, with 49% of school-age children categorized as Hispanic or Latino. At two-year institutions in Texas, Hispanics’ graduation rate was five percentage points higher than their White, non-Hispanic peers. At four-year institutions, Hispanics’ graduation rate was 14 percentage points lower than their White peers.

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