On Tuesday, April 3, California State University, Dominguez Hills hosted the first meeting outside of Washington D.C. of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics President’s Advisory Commission, on which University President Mildred García sits.
Educators and community leaders, and students of CSU Dominguez Hills attended the day-long meeting, held in the Loker Student Union ballroom, to hear White House education officials and the commission – made up of university and community college presidents, K-12 principals, education nonprofit leaders and other education experts from throughout the nation – discuss how to ensure that opportunities exist for Latino youth to succeed at all levels of the education system.
The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing minority population in the country and represents the largest minority group enrolled in U.S. schools today. Yet data shows they lag far behind their peers when it comes to education. Few young Latinos attend pre-school, half of Latino youth tend to drop out of high school, and those that graduate are less likely to go on to college. According to statistics, only 13 percent of Latinos have a bachelor’s degree, and only 4 percent earn graduate degrees.
Shrinking the attainment gap for this population of U.S. children would be a huge boost towards achievement of President Obama’s mandate to increase the number of college graduates in the United States by 2020 and to addressing the larger issue of economic prosperity for the country, Roberto Rodriguez, White House special assistant to the president on education, said in framing the task of the commission.
“American economic success is inextricably linked with the success of the Latino community,” he said. “That success is dependent on education attainment and that is why we’re here. That’s why this commission is constituted – to really focus on how we can tackle the barriers in our system to educational attainment and success for our Latino students head on. That’s an important charge not just for the Latino community, that’s an important charge for our American community.”
García said having the meeting at CSU Dominguez Hills, was significant to the Los Angeles region, as it provided an opportunity for local educators to have their voices heard by people who will help shape educational policy at the local level.
“We are the hub of the many issues our commission has been charged to address,” García said. “Hearing the voices of California… is critical to the work of this commission. We know that together we will be giving President Obama terrific recommendations on how to ensure all of our children reach their potential in education.”
The Center for Mediated Instruction and Distance Learning on campus provided the national live streaming video of the opening and closing of the full committee meeting and the post-secondary sub-committee meeting, and have archived them on its youtube.com/csudhtv site. They are also embedded below:
Post-secondary education sub-committee meeting
Meeting wrap-up and next steps: