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      College bound Latinos outnumber Whites, says study

      A Pew Research Center study shows that Latino students are more likely than their White counterparts to go directly to college following graduation, but less likely to attend a 4-year university or go to school full-time.

      "The University has, as part of a strategic plan, a goal to increase Hispanic student enrollment to about 25% of our total population," said West Texas A&M Vice President of Student Affairs, Dan Garcia.

      It's that goal that has WTAMU Admissions working to provide a 4-year degree for Hispanic students.

      "There's a pathway available, and if they begin planning early they can make it a reality. And we've gotten great support from the community colleges," said Garcia.

      Schools like Amarillo College that are making that reality possible, with help from the A.C.E. Program and the Texas Closing the Gaps initiative.

      "We do work hard with our students to provide transfer opportunities and to get them information that they need so that they have a pathway to go on and complete a degree at a 4-year school," said Amarillo College Vice President of Student Affairs Robert Austin.

      B oth schools said within the last 10 years, they've seen a dramatic shift in Hispanic student enrollment.

      "10 years ago, our Hispanic student enrollment was about 12%. It's now 21% ," said Garcia.

      "We had fewer than 20% of our students were Hispanic, and now the enrollment is over 35% ," said Austin.

      The number of Hispanic students at 2-year colleges is higher than those of 4-year universities, on average.

      "There are very good programs at 2-year institutions, great pathways to get into the workforce quickly , and I think that's very attractive," said Garcia.