The Project MALES Research Institute has launched a new Policy Brief Series, publishing short papers addressing policy issues and educational trends for Latino and African American Males. The series aims to identify issues that require policy attention and propose a set of suitable measures to address them.
The inaugural policy brief titled “De La Ciudad a la Frontera: Advancing Latino Males in Border and Urban Regions in Texas” highlights the educational patterns of Latino male students in select border and urban regions. The brief utilizes data, provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency, that tracked the academic trajectory of Texas eighth-graders during an 11-year time frame.
The analysis shows that Latino males in border region schools are outperforming their peers in more urban parts of the state. According to the key findings, Hispanic males from border regions in Texas (e.g., Edinburg, El Paso) enroll in postsecondary education at higher numbers than males statewide. They are also completing post-secondary degrees/certificates at higher rates than their counterparts in urban Texas schools.
The researchers conclude that this topic merits further attention and investigation. Listed below are some of the evidence-based recommendations and strategies:
· Develop and/or support Men of Color-focused programs and initiatives
· Establish early-alert interventions systems
· Reclaim students who have dropped out of high school and college
· Provide greater access to local data disaggregated by race/gender to address immediate needs of students
With this policy brief, Project MALES researchers aim to inform the conversation around the state’s 60x30TX plan — which calls for 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 to hold a certificate or degree by 2030.
“Very few state entities have done the research to produce benchmarking longitudinal data pertaining to men of color and degree completion,” says Dr. Victor Saenz, executive director of Project MALES and professor in the College of Education. “Neglecting educational disparities and—more importantly—not having the data required to advocate for change is detrimental to the economic future of Texas and the mission of 60x30TX.”
More about Project MALES: Housed within UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) is a research and mentoring initiative committed to advancing the educational outcomes of male students of color at the local, state and national level. Go here to read the full policy brief.