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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

College Completion Gap Between Latino, White Students Widens

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Monday, July 31, 2023   

The gap in college graduation rates between white and Latino students is increasing, according to a new report.

An analysis of degree completion across the country between 2018 and 2021 found that while attainment has increased among the Latino population, it lags significantly behind white students.

In Oregon, 26% of Latino adults age 25 and older have received at least an associates degree. For white Oregonians, the number is 47%.

But some universities have had more success. Western Oregon University President Jesse Peters said community is important for supporting students.

"Community that is supportive," said Peters, "and creates an environment where students are able to seek the support systems that they need is one where they often are more successful."

Peters said nearly half of the students at his college are first-generation and 22% are Latino. About 14% of Oregon's population is Latino.

The Hispanic population represents a growing slice of colleges' student bodies.

Sarita Brown co-founder and president of Excelencia in Education, the organization behind the report.

She said the country can bring up completion numbers, but it won't happen simply because there are more Latino students in higher education.

"Look at the data," said Brown. "Being informed about the data and then being curious if you are somebody in higher education about what you do and then how it shows up."

Peters had some tips for supporting Latino students, such as providing services like mental health and advising and diversifying its employees. They can also make changes in the classroom.

"Trying to make changes to the curriculum itself," said Peters, "so that the students see themselves reflected in their studies."

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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