I was tipped off to an interesting piece in the Washington Post about the colleges that are working to minimize the “race gap” in graduation rates between whites, blacks, and latinos. These schools were recently highlighted by a pair of Education Trust studies that we should be looking at here. Since this article came from the Washington area, the coverage was devoted mostly to Towson and George Mason, but I thought the recommendations were pertinent to UH.
Here’s the money quote:
Colleges with high minority graduation rates tend to aggressively recruit a “critical mass” of black and Hispanic students, support them with pre-collegiate preparatory programs and then cultivate a culture of academic success for the entire student body. When a college president sets minority completion “as an important goal and as a priority, that really filters down through the university,” Lynch said.
The commitment of top administration to this goal is key, and it shows in the existence and close monitoring of programs designed to keep students in school.
Towson has retained high minority graduation rates at a time of growing racial and socioeconomic diversity; once virtually all-white, the school’s student body is 11 percent black and 2 percent Hispanic. The university accepts the top 10 percent of students from any public high school in Baltimore or Baltimore County, regardless of their SAT scores. Mentoring programs for black students have expanded to encompass all students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
“If we take you in, we’re going to graduate you,” said Towson President Robert Caret.