Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Minorities and the late-bloomer education

Photo by sea turtle/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A post earlier this week related the results of a Georgetown University study that showed black and Latino degree holders earning less than their white and Asian counterparts.

While no detailed explanation was given, the report hinted at “occupational concentration” as one possible factor.

There is much more to be explored on this topic, but one reader, Tim Mariner, offered this insight:

One possible explanation might be that perhaps blacks and latinos earn advanced degrees later in life because they don’t have the resources to complete these degrees earlier.  Since the study measured lifetime earnings, it would be impossible for them to catch up unless their earnings before attaining these degrees was very strong.

And then as if planned, a post today on the LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) blog captured that late-bloomer experience that comes with the territory. Latino workforce consultant and advanced-degree holder Miguel Angel Corona wrote about the circuitous road that led him to his doctorate two years ago, one that took far longer than that of some fellow graduates:
I was an average student in high school at best. I didn’t set foot on a college campus until six years after graduating from high school. I bounced from one community college to another racking up college credits that weren’t leading to any particular degree. In the five years I spent working and attending school part-time, I easily could’ve earned my college degree.

It was hard not thinking about that fact. And then, I did the most foolish thing a college student could do – I quit school. It took another year before I made a genuine commitment to finish my degree. Despite my strong resolve, earlier academic mistakes made my journey even more challenging.

I never thought about how old I’d feel sitting in an introductory English class with recent high school graduates. The majority of them were almost 10 years younger than me.

Sound familiar? For aspiring college students lacking resources - and in some cases, those whose families lack legal status - extending or putting off studies while working is commonplace.

Good insight, good post.