Why do few Latinos attend college?


For every 100 Latino elementary school students, 48 drop out of high school. Of the 52 who graduate, only 10 go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Only four of those will earn a graduate degree. College enrollment among Latinos hasn’t increased in 20 years.

Decades of research published in a massive study could shed valuable insight into the causes of this problem and reveal potential remedies. But who would ever take the time to read it?

Thanks to Brainstorm, a lot of people are experiencing this data in easy-to-understand language.

Disclaimer: Brainstorm is now a client of mine, but this site predates our relationship.

Camino de la Universidad (The Road to College) at luminafoundation.org/latinos organizes decades of research by University of Texas at San Antonio professor Dr. Raymond Padilla into a digestible, searchable, comprehensible and comprehensive Web site.

Dr. Padilla’s research report, “What is Known About Latina/o Student Access and Success in Postsecondary Education,” was sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

“Dr. Padilla is passionate about the potential for this information to alter the way people view the college experience for Latinos,” said Teresa Detrich of the Lumina Foundation. “Brainstorm has created a culturally relevant, sharable way to interact with the data without diminishing its depth and substance.”

“We wanted users to be able to engage with the data at any level of interest,” said Bart Caylor, principal at Brainstorm. “We think that once they begin exploring the data, the site’s interactivity and ease of use will draw them in more deeply.”

The beauty of the fast-loading, interactive site is the simplicity of its language. The site could have aimed at those in academia, but instead, Brainstorm chose to make it accessible to students, parents, advocates, politicians and anyone interested in the subject.

Users can explore each of the report’s main sections online with one-click access to the study’s major findings, sources and citations.

Once a user learns about the current situation facing Latino students, he or she can turn to the “What Can Be Done” section for next steps. It includes specific policy options that can help Latinos earn college diplomas.

Brainstorm earned a Best in Show award for the site in the annual W³ Awards, a global competition judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, as well as a Gold Award for Visual Appeal.

“In a competition that pits Fortune 500 companies and international marketing agencies against small firms and non-profits, Indianapolis-based Brainstorm finished in the top 1 percent,” said Bob Blass, Brainstorm president. “But we’re most proud of helping to bring this data to people who can use it to effect change.”

Bravo, Brainstorm!





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