PRINCETON, N.J., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Hispanic higher education enrollments at an all-time high, never has there been a more important moment to address opportunities to expand the role of Latinos in higher education, Yvette Donado, Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of Educational Testing Service (ETS), noted in her keynote address at the New Jersey-based Latino Institute's annual conference today.
The two-day gathering explored the roles of Latinos in higher education and covered the full gamut of themes and issues surrounding the growth of the Latino student population, the effects of immigration reform, the adoption of the Dream Act, and the roles of Latino faculty and administrators.
Rather than focus on the well-documented challenges and roadblocks for Latinos who pursue higher education, Donado focused instead on the good news and positive trends that so many of the attendees to the conference are enabling. She noted, for example, that:
- Latino high school drop-out rates are declining
- Hispanic higher education enrollments are growing — and are now at an all-time high
- People are more aware that dual-language ability is a valuable asset
- Research shows that bilingual children have cognitive abilities that surpass those of most of their peers
- Growing attention is being given to English learners
- Community-based groups are taking charge
- Awareness of the political influence of Hispanics is growing
- Latinos are positioned better than ever to shape public policy
- The numbers of Latino university administrators are growing
She described successful programs and best practices nationally and locally for attracting, retaining and graduating Latinos. She also outlined the challenge of capitalizing on the positives to address the negatives.
"National Hispanic organizations must coalesce and become more forceful advocates for greater educational opportunity," Donado said. "Foundations, corporations and government agencies must also be more flexible and visionary in their giving policies. Sadly — despite our great needs — Latino organizations receive only about 3 percent of philanthropic dollars."
"Clearly, the New Jersey Latino demographics signal a demand for a bigger share if our state is going to harness the work ethic, entrepreneurial zeal, need for education and aspirations of our growing Latino population," she said. "In a generation, Hispanics will be one third of the state population."
"The Latino Institute is a model and example of the way our local and regional organizations must work more closely together to find solutions and advance the achievement of common goals," Donado added. "Each of us, from an influential nonprofit like ETS to the humblest local group, brings much to the table. So let's share, let's help one another."
Donado concluded her remarks by praising the good works being carried out every day by selfless, dedicated persons like the conference participants and others. "That's the good news. People are coming together, sacrificing, demonstrating that Latinos have proven to be self-sufficient and contributing members of the in American society."
They are law-abiding, hard-working, entrepreneurial and devoted to family. The only thing they want is an equal chance to live the American dream."
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org
SOURCE Educational Testing Service