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USD Focuses On Attracting More Latinos

Aired 2/22/12 on KPBS News.

The president of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities visits the University of San Diego.

— Across the country fewer than one in five Latinos over the age of 25 has completed a college degree. The University of San Diego is looking into what it can do to increase that number.

Leaders from San Diego-area colleges and universities were invited to the University of San Diego Tuesday to hear about the strategies other institutions are using to recruit and retain Hispanic students.

Latinos are expected to account for three out of every four new workers in the United States by 2020, which makes increasing their college graduation rates important, according to Antonio Flores, president of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

“So that not only do Latinos do better for their own sake, but the country is able to sustain its competitiveness in our global economy,” Flores said.

Flores spent Tuesday meeting with representatives of several USD schools and departments before a public event in the evening.

He said some successful strategies include partnering with K-12 school systems and taking the Latino community's values into consideration by doing things that bring the whole family into the college application process.

“The parents—who often times are not themselves college grads, or even high school grads—need to be made aware of all the opportunities for their children," he said. "And how they as parents, despite their lower educational attainment, can be part of that process.”

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