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An Initial Study of Georgia's Hispanic Participation in Higher Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Attracting Young Minds: Part II

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.178.1 - 22.178.5



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Paper Authors


Barbara Victoria Bernal Southern Polytechnic State University

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Barbara Victoria Bernal is a Professor of Software Engineering at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU), where she has taught Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Information Technology courses since 1984. As a faculty, she has been awarded an Outstanding Faculty Award (1995) and served as undergraduate coordinator for software engineering; and chair of software engineering. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the SPSU Usability Research Lab (ULAB) and is directly involved in corporate-sponsor ULAB projects. She received her M.Ed. and B.S. from Georgia State University (1979, 1981). She has authored and presented numerous papers, tutorials and presentations locally and internationally on User-Centered Design, Usability and Software Engineering. Professor Bernal provides education support, specialized software development, and program evaluation through her consulting company Software Education and Support (SES).

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Current Hispanic Community participation in Higher Education A new comprehensive study of the current Hispanic population enrolled in Higher Education willenable academia to understand the historical progression of the Hispanic population in the state of Georgia,as an example. The implications of this progression can help us address the overall impact of thispopulation in academia. Specific information in needed. We want to ensure access to educationalopportunities for the Hispanics. Others can use this study to understand what the hindering issues are,what is available, thus gain knowledge to serve this growing community. The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are complex and include a range of cultures, races, ethnicities,nationalities, and even languages. In the Georgia Hispanic Population, the Hispanics (Latinos) composeabout 3% of the population with the census in 1999 pointing to 475,000 Hispanics. The Hispanicpopulation is predicted to increase to 665,000 in 2005 and 825,000 in 2010. The average age of Hispanicsin Georgia in 1999 was 26.4 years old. The U.S. Census predicts the average age will be 28.1 in the year2015. Nationally, the Hispanic population is younger than other populations; for example, under 15 yearsof age, Hispanic 30 %, African American 21%, White non-Hispanic 20 %. What are the implications?Hispanics are more likely to be unemployed, to earn less, and to live below the poverty line. Some of the past statistics regarding students who do complete high school in Georgia and enterthe University System of Georgia (USG) as freshmen are: Hispanic 34.3 %, All Georgia population 38.8 %.The rate of graduation in six year in Georgia (USG) is: Hispanic 43.2 %, all others 46.7 %. What are thecurrect numbers? This paper will present a new comprehensive study of Georgia’s Hispanic population, theimplications of the numbers found in the study, an approach for the increase of the Hispanics into highereducation and methods to facilitate that increase.

Bernal, B. V. (2011, June), An Initial Study of Georgia's Hispanic Participation in Higher Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17459

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