Mark McClendon: Tarrant County Community College Vice Chancellor of Finance explores Latino need for education.

Author:Cook, Rita

Mark McClendon, Ed. D., Vice Chancellor for Finance at Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth, Texas, is passionate about his role at the school. He oversees the best balance sheet of all community colleges--not only in Texas, but the nation--and is responsible for the college's departments of Finance, Auxiliary (bookstores, food and concessions) and Business Services.

He followed up our interview with an email that began, "On behalf of all 25,000 Latinos students, I am very grateful for this consideration of making our story more public."

Public is indeed what the Vice Chancellor wants the message to be so that Latino graduation numbers at community colleges can be improved.

Current numbers show a staggeringly low 10 percent graduation rate at community colleges and 40 percent at four-year institutions within a four-year period.

McClendon most certainly has benefitted from his education, having earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a Doctorate (Ed. D.) from Vanderbilt.

He points out that as first-generation college students, if Latinos do not know where they are going, how will they know when they get there?

"People who have a college degree have a better life," McClendon said, referring to better health, fewer problems with the law, a higher degree of happiness and upward mobility for an entire generation.

So with all the positives of higher education, why do Latinos have such...

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