Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education: A Framework for Success

Synopsis

In the last decade, the rates of enrollment and retention of many students of color have declined. Access and completion rates for African American, Hispanic, and Native American students have always lagged behind white and Asian students, as have those for low-income students and students with disabilities. Because students of color often make up a much smaller percentage of students in studies, their experiences and needs are often lost and go undetected.

As the authors note, the United States will become significantly less white over the next fifty years, so these issues are becoming more urgent. We must have institution-wide programs to improve the graduation rates of minority students. Pre-college preparation, admission policies, affirmative action, and financial aid are important factors, but campus-wide support, from the chancellor's office to the classroom, is critical to success.

This ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report is intended as a reference for key stakeholders regarding the realities of and strategies for student retention. It is our hope that it will serve as a compass for those with the complex task of improving retention.