Latino and Black students continue to face disparities in college attainment rates in California. Representation Image vidyarthidarpan/ Pixabay

The number of students who have acquired a degree, certificate, or certification has climbed by 16% between 2009 and 2021, according to a new report from the Lumina Foundation. Although the rates of college enrollment are rising, there are still differences in the data between various groups.

Educational attainment remains unequal across racial and ethnic groups. These enduring inequities hurt all of us in our culture, where obtaining a degree above the high school level is a prerequisite for meaningful opportunities.

Although there has been some improvement since 2009, Black, Hispanic, Latino, and Native American students continue to have much lower attainment rates as a result of the present systems, states Lumina Foundation.

According to the report, the attainment rate for Californians between the ages of 25 and 64 is 55.8%. While students of all races have made progress, Courtney Brown, vice president of impact and planning at the Lumina Foundation, notes that Latino attainment in California is just a little more than 22% compared to nearly 60% for White students.

The lowest rate, at just over 18 percent, is found in rural Lassen County in the extreme northeastern region of the state, according to the report. At the same time, the top five counties with the highest percentage of students with an associate degree or higher are all located in the Bay Area, reports NewsBreak Original.

"There are still incredible disparities between Black Americans and Latino Americans on one end, and White Americans on the other end," Brown stated. "Although we saw a 2.5% jump in attainment for the Latino and Hispanic population, and almost 2% for Black Americans."

Gov. Gavin Newsom established a goal of 70% of adults having some kind of postsecondary education by 2030 to address these discrepancies. Michelle Siquieros, the president of the Campaign for College Opportunity based in Los Angeles, asserts that institutions must make it considerably easier for community college graduates to transfer to four-year universities.

"The completion rates and transfer rates from community colleges to our four-year universities are very low, especially for Black and Latinx students," Siquieros said. "Therefore, we must improve our support for students completing degrees and transferring."

According to the report, California needs to considerably boost the number of people enrolling in programs and obtaining credentials of all types after high school in order to compete.This calls for enhancing underrepresented groups' access to education in schools and colleges.

The report's findings about California's college attainment rates are generally positive. However, there is still work to ensure that all students have access to education and can complete their degrees.

California can seek to bridge the achievement gap and give its citizens a more equitable and prosperous future.

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