‘Central Valley Latinos and higher education completion: Is there a growing gap?’
Fresno Bee panel features CVHEC leaders and partners CCO, PPIC
Dr. Benjamín Durán, executive director, of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, will participate on a virtual panel presented Nov. 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. presented by The Fresno Bee’s La Abeja staff, “Central Valley Latinos and Higher Education Completion: Is There a Growing Gap?”
The virtual event is open to the public with registration where registrants are encouraged to submit questions for the panel to consider.
Dr. Duran, who is also president-emeritus of Merced College, will be joined by Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a Sacramento-based organization that has led higher education policy budget and legislative reforms in California and a CVHEC partner.
Olga Rodríguez, director of the Public Policy Institute of California Higher Education Center who presented at the CVHEC summit in October, also will participate.
The hour-long panel conversation features state and Central Valley education leaders examining the barriers to Latino student success and opportunities available. Recent reports fueled the idea for this event, said Melissa Montalvo, a Bee reporter serving on the staff of La Abeja, The Bee’s free weekly newsletter covering Latino issues.
Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to Latino student success in higher education, reported that the college completion gap between Latino and White students has grown. And according to a separate 2022 Lumina Foundation-Gallup study, 50 percent of Latino students are considering leaving college.
The panel, in three 20-minute breakouts, will address how Central Valley Latino students fare, if they fall in line with national trends and what California education leaders say about this growing gap. Two Fresno State students will discuss their experiences.
The discussion opens with “Latino Higher Education Access in the Central Valley “ featuring Rodríguez, who graduated from Porterville High School in Tulare County, and Carlos Nevarez, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs and a professor of education at Sacramento State.
In the second breakout (6:20 p.m.), Duran and Siqueiros will address “Barriers and Opportunities to Latino Student Success.”
The final breakout features two Fresno State students: Crystal Navarro, a first-generation Master’s of Social Work student with a lived experience of incarceration Program who is a member of Fresno State’s Project Rebound cohort; and Joseph Aquino, a political science major and recent graduate of Hoover High School who is a former Fresno Unified School District student board member.