Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Students of Color Make Enrollment, Graduation Gains

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Students of Color Make Enrollment, Graduation Gains

Article excerpt


The number of students of color enrolling and graduating from the nation's colleges and universities continues to climb steadily, according to an annual status report released last month by the American Council on Education's (ACE) Office of Minorities in Higher Education (OMHE). Overall, enrollment by students of color jumped 48.3 percent from 1990 to 1999.

According to the report, Minorities in Higher Education 2001-02: Nineteenth Annual Status Report, postsecondary enrollment for students of color rose by 3.3 percent between 1998 and 1999 (the last year for which data is available) - continuing a trend of modest increases that began in the early 1990s. The latest number is a slight improvement over last year when enrollment rose by 3.2 percent.

The report also shows that students of color have experienced gains in all four categories of academic degree attainment. In 1999, students of color experienced combined increases of 11.7 percent in the number of associate's degrees they earned, 5.8 percent at the bachelor's degree level, 8.1 percent at the master's degree level, 2.5 percent at the doctoral level, and 3.4 percent at the first-professional degree.

But ACE officials and others involved in the production of the report, which looks at a range of indicators from high school completion rates to faculty representation and employment trends, are quick to point out the increase does not suggest "all is well" in regard to minority students, faculty and administrators in higher education.

The report's numbers also point to "glaring inequities and gaps between students from minority populations and their White counterparts," says Dr. William B. Harvey, vice president and director of OMHE and author of the report.

According to the report, African Americans and Hispanics continue to trail Whites in rates of high school completion as well as in college participation. …

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