While the number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and Hispanics continues to steadily increase throughout California, these groups still do not have equal access to the state’s colleges and universities.
Those are the findings detailed in a new report called “Striking Gold in the Golden State: Harnessing the Power of Minority Serving Institutions,” released by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
The report points out that, although the minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in the state have historically played an important role in educating and graduating students underserved by higher education, many of these institutions have faced harsh financial cutbacks in recent years despite the fact that “enrollment of full-time students in four-year public MSIs increased by 25% between 2003 and 2013 (from 253,925 students to 317,976 students). The largest increase by ethnicity was overwhelmingly Hispanic enrollment. Between 2003 and 2013, the Hispanic student population grew by 106% in four-year public institutions (from 55,486 students to 114,029 students,” according to the report.
The authors note that California MSIs and Latino and AAPI students encounter additional challenges including the transfer function between community colleges and four-year public segments; higher education finance policy; enrollment rationing at the University of California and California State University systems; and the increasing unaffordability of higher education overall in the state.
“I think the data in the report is really important as California is a microcosm of the future United States,” said Dr. Marybeth Gasman, director of Penn’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions and a full professor in the Graduate School of Education. “Other states should take a look and heed the success and challenges around educating students of color and supporting the institutions that serve the lion’s share of these students.”
To read the entire report, please click here.
Jamal Eric Watson can be reached at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter @jamalericwatson.