Mexican American Pro Archive : Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals
It is of utmost importance to discuss why Mexican Americans have trailed most minority groups in educational achievement. The Atlantic recently published a Feb. 8, 2017 article titled “The Myth of Immigrants’ Educational Attainment,” in which new research from sociologist Cynthia Feliciano, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, “found that the reason immigrant families appear so successful is not upward mobility, but the ability to work their way into the same class they occupied in their native country.”
This is an interesting new theory that shines the light on groups such as Cubans that excel far beyond all other Hispanic groups in educational attainment.
The good news is that in spite of many explanations to the inequality between the educational attainment of Mexican Americans and the larger population in the United Sates, numbers in this educational achievement gap keep rising.
News from the American Community Census is better than last year’s. Mexican American college enrollment in the US rose from 18.9% in 2015 to 19.3% in 2016, in spite of the total college enrollment falling from 27.8% in 2015 to 27.7% in 2016.
Graduate or professional degrees are also up from 3.0% in 2015 to 3.2% in 2016; although for the total population they were a bit higher from 11.6% to 11.9%. The contrast is still significantly low for Mexican Americans in comparison to the general population.
Bachelor’s degrees among this population managed to eke out a small gain above the national number. The numbers for Mexican Americans were 7.8% in 2015 to 8.2% in 2016 and 19.0% and 19.3% for the total population, respectably.
Mexican Americans were also on the positive column when it came to associate’s degrees; moving from 22.1% in 2015 to 22.5% in 2016.
The University of California reports a continued rise in underrepresented minorities with the rise of Chicano/Latino freshmen enrollment rising from 32.3% in 2016 to 33.2% in 2017.
Transfer numbers from community colleges also grew from 28.3% in 2016 to 29.7% in 2017 for Chicano/Latino students.
Occupations, including those in management, business, science, and art, fared better for Mexican Americans. The number of Mexican Americans filling these occupations rose from 17.5% in 2015 to 18.4% in 2016.
|2015 – 2016 OCCUPATIONS|
|Mexican Americans||Mexican Americans|
|Management, Business, Science, & Art Occupations||17.5%||18.4%|
Industrial employment for Mexican Americans showed a slight improvement even above the gain by the general population. Mexican Americans moved from 10.2% in 2015 to 10.4% in 2016. The total population rose from 11.3% in 2015 to 11.4% in 2016.
Lastly, an example of one of the lowest showings in educational attainment came from Hudspeth County, Texas, which includes metropolitan El Paso.
The demographic data of this county as reported by the American Community Survey shows that Hispanics comprise 77.6% of the population and white (alone) is 18.9%.
The educational attainment for white (alone) is 24.5% for bachelor’s degrees and 3.2% for Hispanics. It is an example of the hard work to be done by the educational community of that county.
It has been a good year for Mexican American professionals; hopefully this will continue in spite of the current political climate.