What if we told you that no matter how hard you tried, you only had a 5 percent chance of succeeding? What if it was your first day of kindergarten and we told you those were your odds of getting a college degree at a California university?
We don’t tell our kindergarteners that. In fact, we tell them the opposite. “You can be anything you want in life if you work hard enough.” But in California that’s just not the case for the nearly 4 million students who are Latino or African American. They have a 1 in 20 chance of graduating from a California public university. California’s prosperity is dependent on us changing these odds.
According to a recent report from the California Competes Council, California will need 5½ million new college degrees and technical certificates by the year 2025. We simply cannot meet these needs without improving results for our Latino and African American students, who are the vast majority of our student population.