Dr. Victor Saenz on the case of the disappearing Latino male on campus
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The education of Latino males is reaching a crisis point. They are disappearing from the education pipeline, especially at the college level says DDCE faculty fellow Dr. Victor Saenz, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Higher Education Administration.
College age Latino males are not enrolling in higher education at the same rate as their female counterparts and also have lower graduation rates, especially when they are increasingly underrepresented on college campuses. The College Board recently reported that among 18-to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college in 2008, 28.9 percent were female and 23 percent were male.
Saenz says that the advocacy for gender equity over the last 30 years—although important—has contributed to another kind of inequity—the male education crisis.
“We could easily be here today talking about African American males, Asian American males, Native American males, even Caucasian males- this is a trend that runs across all borders,” Dr. Victor Saenz, assistant professor in the Department of Higher Education Administration said. “Because we are in Texas, the focus on Latinos is especially salient giving the demographic realities that we are facing.”
Saenz and a team of researchers are seeking to inform and address the issue through Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). Launched in 2010, Project MALES, is one of the DDCE’s academic diversity initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin. It aims to increase awareness about the issue, enlist the support of key community stakeholders, and create a model cross-generational mentoring program that will be implemented and replicated widely.
Saenz hopes that by increasing awareness of the issue, more universities and colleges will start recognizing the cultural strengths that Latino males possess and leverage those strengths to ensure Latino men are successful.
To learn more about Project MALES visit their Web site at http://blogs.utexas.edu/projectmales/.