The news is usually bad when you read about black men and college. “Black men are just not going to college,” is the typical headline. Well, new research comes to a radically different conclusion.
Black males make up 5.5 percent of all college students ages 18 and older, according to a recent report, “Challenging the Status Quo” partially supported by the CBC Foundation. This number is proportional to the adult black male population in the United States.
This challenges the stereotype “that African-American young men are somehow disinterested in higher education and could even prevent them from obtaining the courses, mentorship or college preparation needed to succeed in college,” reports The National Journal.
The stereotypes can have far-reaching effects, say the authors of the report. They argue “that such a false notion can influence a teacher or counselor to steer such students toward institutions with lower completion rates, such as community colleges.”
So where are black men attending college? More than 40 percent of the 1.2 million black men attend a community college. About 11 percent are enrolled in for-profit institutions.
Although the numbers of black men in college is better than previously believed, the percentage of African-American men graduating is only 16 percent, compared to 20 percent of black women.
Another disconcerting fact: Black male students are more likely to get suspended. The report showed that 59 percent of black males reported they had been suspended or expelled from school, compared to 26 percent of white males. Now we need more info about that.