Mantella and banking leader in op-ed: economic success linked to partnerships that enhance college completion for Latino community

A person sits in a chair with hands folded on the arm of the chair for a posed photo.
President Philomena V. Mantella
Image credit - Amanda Pitts

President Philomena V. Mantella and a banking leader highlighted in an op-ed this week the opportunities for economic prosperity through partnerships that accelerate educational advancement for the Latino community.

Mantella and Raul Anaya, president of Bank of America Business Banking, said in a piece in the Detroit News that efforts from corporate partners to help Latino students earn a higher education degree can have a profound impact on the knowledge economy of the future:

Despite a 15% drop in overall college enrollment from 2010 to 2021, Latino students are defying this trend, showing a 30% increase in higher education enrollment, equating to 3.3 million students, as the National Center for Education Statistics has reported.

This significant increase is more than a statistic; it is an opportunity. The 2020 Census found more than 560,000 Michiganians reported as Hispanic or Latino, which was 5.6% of the state’s population and a 29% increase from 2010.

As the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, with a 23% increase since 2020, the Latino community is poised to rejuvenate both local economies and the broader national economic framework. Achieving an educated workforce in the U.S. is intrinsically linked to enhancing Latino college completion, given this community’s youth and expansion.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is leading in this effort with targeted initiatives, strong outcomes and a bold commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic equity gaps. The results are evident: a 106% increase in Latino student enrollment in the past four years, notable graduation rates, becoming the third largest producer of Latino bachelor’s degree holders in their state and a narrowing equity gap between Latino and White students. 

This commitment by Grand Valley is underscored by the 2019 Seal of Excelencia by Exelencia in Education, the Washington, D.C.-based organization focused on Latino student success in higher education. Mantella is also a member of Excelencia’s Presidents for Latino Student Success .

Read the entire op-ed at this link available to subscribers .


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