Special Reports

Excelencia Urges Employer-University Collaboration To Boost Latino Graduation Rates


A new brief from Excelencia urges collaboration between employers and universities to boost Latino graduation rates and meet workforce demands.

The brief emphasizes the importance of investing in high-wage, high-demand career pathways, developing stackable credentials, and funding short-term career programs to facilitate smoother transitions between education and employment for Latino students.

(Photo : UNSPLASH / Eliott Reyna)

While Latinos have the highest labor force participation rates, they are disproportionately represented in manual labor occupations and earn lower wages compared to other racial groups. To address these disparities, Excelencia advocates for strategic partnerships that align educational initiatives with workforce needs.

READ ALSO: Higher Dropout Rates Observed Among Black and Hispanic College Students, Study Finds 

Supporting High-Wage, High-Demand Career Pathways

Excelencia's brief highlights the importance of investing in educational programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand careers. By developing stackable credentials and short-term career programs, universities can provide Latino students with the skills and training needed to succeed in today's competitive job market. These initiatives not only increase access to well-paying jobs but also contribute to economic mobility within the Latino community.

Moreover, providing transition services between credential completion and employment can help bridge the gap between education and workforce readiness. By offering career counseling, job placement assistance, and networking opportunities, universities can better support Latino students as they navigate their post-graduation pathways.

Addressing Educational Disparities

Statistics from the brief reveal significant gaps in educational attainment among different racial groups. Only 33 percent of Latinos hold an associate degree or higher, compared to 69 percent of Asian Americans, 55 percent of white Americans, and 45 percent of Black Americans. Moreover, Latino workers earn a median weekly wage of $800, which is 20 percent less than that of white workers, highlighting the economic disparities faced by the Latino community.

These disparities underscore the need for targeted interventions to increase educational attainment and improve economic outcomes for Latino individuals. Employer-university partnerships offer a promising avenue to address these challenges by providing tailored educational programs and career pathways that meet the needs of Latino students while aligning with workforce demands.

Promoting Collaboration for Greater Impact

Excelencia's report identifies institutions with the highest credential attainment rates for Latinos and underscores the importance of fostering partnerships between these institutions and employers to tap into the pool of college-educated Latino talent. By leveraging the resources and expertise of both academia and industry, these partnerships can create innovative solutions to enhance educational opportunities and improve employment outcomes for Latino students.

Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia, emphasizes the significance of the report in guiding institutions and employers to align their efforts in engaging and recruiting Latino graduates effectively. By fostering meaningful collaborations between higher education institutions and employers, stakeholders can work together to address the barriers faced by Latino students and create pathways to success in both education and the workforce.

Employer-university partnerships not only benefit Latino students but also provide significant advantages for employers. By collaborating with universities, employers gain access to a diverse talent pool and can address talent gaps within their organizations. Additionally, partnering with universities allows employers to shape curriculum and training programs to meet their specific workforce needs, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for success in the workplace. Moreover, these partnerships can enhance employer branding and corporate social responsibility efforts by demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Overall, employer-university partnerships offer a win-win solution for both parties, driving innovation, economic growth, and social impact. 

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