After California voters abolished affirmative action by passing Proposition 209 in 1996, the numbers of African American and Latino students dropped precipitously at state colleges and universities. A recent New York Times article suggests that California could become the model for attracting underserved student populations if the Supreme Court decides to curtail or abolish the use of race and ethnicity in college admissions.
The University of California system begins the recruitment process in middle school by embedding themselves deeply in disadvantaged communities and widening the education pipeline. By working with schools, students and parents to identify promising teenagers and work with those students throughout middle school and high school. The universities also work with teachers to help them improve their teaching and mastery of of subject matter and help to encourage high expectations for students. Such programs are costly, but the numbers of Latinos enrolled have climbed from 12% in the 1990s to 25%. Read the complete article by Richard Perez Pena.