Despite the fact that more students are likely to pursue higher education now, unlike ten years ago, the attainment of higher education credentials in Texas is still low.
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Out of 883, 260 public school students in 8th grade, only 19.9% of these (175, 489) attained a certificate or degree program (National Center for Higher Education Management Systems report (NCHEMS), 2012. p. 2). Completion of education at this point is unlikely, and only slight improvements have been realized.
This is likely to take a great toll on the American economy because there will be no qualified workers to compete in the global workforce (The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE), 2008).
The poor higher education credential patterns have prompted the need to establish student characteristics because they may be influential factors.
In comparison to the national trends in the pursuance of tertiary education, Texas is performing poorly. As a matter of fact, individuals will prefer to be enrolled in college in outside states, for example, Massachusetts, than in Texas (NCPPHE, 2008).
Only one in five students that complete their eighth grade complete postsecondary education in 11 years (NCHEMS, 2012). More female students than male students enroll for postsecondary education (10% higher), but more male students than female students complete postsecondary education (NCHEMS, 2012, p. 4).
Statistical reports for female progression in colleges in Texas versus the nation are 7.8% and 5.5%, respectively (NCHEMS, 2012, p. 7). Despite the fact that Texas performs well in relation to more females enrolling in higher education, the converse is the case for overall education credential as shown in the figure below.
Figure obtained from NCHEMS (2012, p. 7)
In Texas, enrollment in postsecondary institutions starts after 8th grade. Enrollment can be in a private or public college/university because these are the available postsecondary institutions. A high school diploma is not essential for one to enroll in postsecondary education.
In a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (2010, p. 5), Texas was among those states with the highest number of Hispanics (36-45%).
Given the wide disparities between enrollment and completion of postsecondary education among the white students (majority group) and minority groups, the high population of the minority population in Texas justifies the poor performance of education in Texas (NCHEMS, 2012).
Despite disparities in data over time, Texas and Florida, perform poorly in collegiate graduation rates across all races and ethnicities in comparison with the nation (NCHEMS, 2012). It is the city with the largest population in Texas, and attainment of education at tertiary institutions in Houston is equally low.
In comparison with national data, higher education attainment rates in Texas based on race and ethnicity are lower (NCHEMS, 2012, p. 7).
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Despite the fact that the data presented are irrefutable, I somewhat tend to disagree with the grade (C-) given to Texas in completion of higher education due to the inconsistencies in data generation (NCPPHE, 2008, p. 18).
The current databases may not be comprehensive because records may not exhaust all data, and especially, from private and proprietary education institutions. I can only hope that the situation improves given the fact that Texas is trying hard to invest in education and encourage more students to acquire postsecondary school credentials.
The characteristics of students in today’s world are very different from those of students in earlier times. The world has become a global village with highly defined technology.
Therefore, students are more competitive as each tries to establish his or her path of success, and lack of proper education to college/university means that one is not able to survive in the competitive world.
Houston, Texas is well known for its thriving economy. However the same cannot be said about its education system in relation to the pursuance of tertiary education.
In comparison to colonial times when education was not reinforced and was purely targeted at particular students in the preparation for high office jobs, students nowadays are all aware of the importance of education.
The success in the current world is largely pegged on employment in high-paying jobs, and education is its fundamental component.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2010). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups. Web.
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). (2012). A New Measure of Educational Success in Texas: Tracking the Success of 8th Graders into and through College. Web.
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE). (2008). Measuring Up 2008: The National Report Card on Higher Education. Web.