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Abstract

The need for increased numbers of students of all ethnic groups to access and succeed in postsecondary education is a 21st century reality (Swail, Cabrera, & Lee, 2004). As Swail, Cabreraet al. (2004) reported, The act of going to college and earning a degree is more important than ever to today’s youth and our society. . . . Unfortunately, access to a postsecondary education is not equal in America. Students historically underrepresented at the postsecondary level – students of color, those from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation students- are still less likely to prepare for, apply for, enroll in, and persist through postsecondary education. (p. iv) For example, Latinos are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups, but only 19% of Latinos have completed an associate’s or higher degree (Excelencia in Education, 2010). While the number of Latinos accessing college is growing, a disparity still exists between minority group enrollment in college and white student enrollment (Swail et al., 2004). The principal has a key role in schools of creating the conditions wherein all students can be successful and access the next step of postsecondary education whether through a community college, a technical program, the military, or a university (Kaser & Halbert, 2009). As Kaser and Halbert (2009) stated, “Leadership creates the conditions in schools where all learners grow, progress, graduate, go on to some form of postsecondary learning and lead productive lives” (p. 20). Educational leaders can play key roles in advocacy for student success, recognizing inequities where they exist and working to overcome the inequities (Anderson, 2009; Papa & English, 2011).

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