Illinois State University is getting top marks for an improving graduation rate for Hispanic students. The Education Trust ranks ISU 19th in the nation among public universities for moving its Hispanic graduation rate from 40% in 2004 to nearly 59% in 2010. Provost Sheri Everts says the university has institutionalized support for closing the graduation gap between that minority group and the overall rate of 70%.
"We've added Spanish speaking counselors. One is located in Little Village in Chicago. We have a Spanish speaking financial aid advisor. And our recruitment financial aid and paying for college publications are all available in Spanish."
Everts says ISU has also moved academic support programs into the residence halls so students can access help literally where they live. The Education Trust notes ISU's ranking means more because overall graduation rates have not diminished over the six year study period and the number of Hispanic enrollees has also risen in that time. The Trust notes the population of Hispanic students in public schools has nearly doubled over the last six years, but in most institutions graduation rates are not keeping pace.
Support Your Public Radio Station