Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The concept of the American "melting pot" is giving way to a country which celebrates ethnic diversity. This can be seen in the Mexican-American population, which is a large part of the rapidly growing Hispanic population. The latter includes large numbers of Cuban American, Puerto Ricans, and peoples whose heritage stems from Central and South America. The Hispanic population in the United States increased 61% between 1970 and 1980, from 9. 1 mill ion to 14.6 million (Ford Foundation, 1984). Extrapolating a continued pattern of growth, some experts believe that Blacks and Hispanics combined will surpass Whites as the nation's largest ethnic group by 1990 (Naisbitt, 1984). The 8.7 mill ion Mexican-Americans make up 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population and are expected to remain the fastest growing portion of the Hispanic population in the future. In addition to being a rapidly growing population, Mexican-Americans are younger than most Americans, with a median age of about twenty two compared to thirty-one for the non-Hispanic population (Ford Foundation, 1984). Mexican-Americans are also an undereducated population; only 4.3% complete four years of college compared with 16.7% of the non-Hispanic population (U.S. Department of Education, 1980). Obviously, colleges and universities are failing to attract an important population segment which has a substantial growth potential.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Thomas W. Hansmeier


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