For Colleges Minority Retention Trickier than Recruitment

February 23, 2011  |  

(McClatchy) — A lot of attention has been given to the push to make higher education more diverse, with colleges trumpeting their enrollment of underrepresented students. But black and Latino students are, on average, far less likely to graduate in six years than their white and Asian peers.

Some colleges, though, defy the trend, graduating all students at the same rates, according to a 2010 report by the Washington-based nonprofit Education Trust. Using these schools as an example, the Education Trust concludes that a graduation gap is not inevitable.

When a student drops out of high school, the tendency has long been to blame the school. But when a student leaves college, people typically blame the individual. Many experts now argue, though, that even at the post-secondary level, institutions must shoulder responsibility for their completion rates — and that their practices matter a lot.

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