November 3, 2012, Saturday, 307

Educational attainment

From From the Island to the City: Dominican Communities in New York City

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Education Levels of Dominicans in NYC

P.S. 173 in Washington Heights

Education is one of the reasons why Dominican immigrants are still lagging behind in attaining professional jobs and having higher levels of income. According to the article, "Dominican Immigrants Face Challenges in New York City Public Schools by Jeffrey Zahka, Dominican children are usually concentrated within crowded public schools in New York City which hinders them from advancing on to better education. "As the largest exporter of immigrants to New York City, the Dominican Republic is represented by approximately 10 percent of the 1.1 million students within the New York City public school system. The schools they attend are generally in low-income, high crime areas, and often contain poorly qualified teachers with high staff turnovers." [1] The family structures and values of Dominican children also differ from American students which plays a vital role in the difference in education for the younger immigrants.

In the interview that we had, Sarah Aponte, the head librarian of City College stated that City College has the highest number of Dominican immigrants aiming to complete a bachelor's degree. However, there is a large dropout rate for this group. Aponte cites several domestic problems; such as low income, or a negative lifestyle. Aponte then says that the low education level is a trend that is slowly changing for the better.

Dominican Students
In the 2000 census, shocking facts regarding the educational attainment of first generation Dominican men were released. According to the census, less than half of these immigrants were considered high school graduates, and about a tenth of them held college degrees. Second generation Dominicans, however, show a significant increase in these numbers.

Dominican students within the New York City Public School system hold a very high retention rate, making up 10.4% of the total student body in the city. In addition, 8.5% of students enrolled in the city's public colleges were Dominican. [2]

In order to help struggling Dominican students make progress with education, different immigrant groups come together to support each other. National Dominican Student Conference, helps hundreds of Dominican students connect to the roots of their culture and network throughout their communities.


  1. Jeffrey Zahka. "Dominican Immigrants Face Challenges in New York City Public Schools". Immigration.
  2. Hernández, Ramona and Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz. “Dominicans in the United States: A Socioeconomic Profile, 2000.” The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. City University of New York. 16 Mar. 2010. < Dominicans in the United States >.