On Tuesday, President Obama announced the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In attendance were some of my fellow board members from the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) – Mark Ponce and Charlie Garcia – along with the CEO, Manuel Gonzalez.
In order to achieve the President’s national goals for college graduation, it will be essential that we improve the education pipeline for Hispanic students, including a focus on readiness for college. Too many Hispanic students do not complete high school with the mathematics, science and English classes that they will need for college readiness. Too many postpone college because they need to earn an income, or their family doesn’t see the value of higher education. Too many of those who do attend will choose a local community college without ever achieving an associate’s degree or without ever transferring to an institution with a four-year degree.
There are many reasons to support President Obama’s Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. We cannot exist as a republic without informed citizen participation, and that requires education, including higher education. We cannot expect to have a quality labor force for global competition without educating the fastest growing segment of that labor force. And we cannot expect to have equity of opportunity when one group of our citizens disproportionately is not so well educated.
I applaud the President for his Initiative, and I applaud the diverse set of schools – both traditional and for-profit – that have made it part of their mission to assure that Hispanics have educational opportunity.