Higher ed professor co-authors policy brief to help Latino males attain college degrees


University of Florida education researcher Luis Ponjuan has co-authored a policy brief distributed nationwide on Tuesday (Nov. 29) by the national Institute of Higher Education Policy that offers a blueprint for clearing the overwhelming barriers that Hispanic-Latino boys face on their educational journeys towards a college education.

The brief, titled “Men of Color: Ensuring the Academic Success of Latino Males in Higher Education,” is the first in a series of planned publications focusing on “men of color’ in higher education, produced by IHEP’s Pathways to College Network, an alliance of national organizations that advance college opportunity for underserved students.

The “Men of Color” brief, written by Ponjuan and Victor Sáenz, assistant professor of higher education at the University of Texas at Austin, outlines actions that organizations and communities can take in developing interventions to reverse the oppressive educational trends of Latino males.

“Our blueprint promotes rigorous new research and the use of evidence-based policies and practices that align efforts across middle school, high school and higher education in enhancing college access and success for underserved students,” Ponjuan said.

To download free copies of the policy brief, visit IHEP’s website at

The Institute of Higher Education Policy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that develops and supports research activities promoting access to and success in higher education for all students.

Latinos are now 15 percent of the U.S. population. Yet Latinos, or Hispanics, earn only 6 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, according to the American Council on Education. This is significantly less than whites, blacks and Asians. Latino males also have one of the lowest high school graduation and college enrollment rates in the country.

“While research on Latino males is limited and only points to the many challenges facing them, there exist a few promising practices that promote these students’ advancement in education—all the way from elementary to secondary and through postsecondary,” said IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper.  “We present real-life interventions that can be taken advantage of today to help strengthen the educational success for all Latino males.”


   SOURCE: Luis Ponjuan, assistant professor and director, UF Institute of Higher Education, UF College of Education,; 352-273-4313

   WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137