A Long Way to Go: Conversations about Race by African American Faculty and Graduate Students

By Darrell Cleveland | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

Etta R. Hollins

The dramatic transformation in the composition of the student population of
America's colleges and universities over the past generation is unparalleled in the
history of Western higher education institutions. In the early 1960s, with the
exception of those attending historically black colleges and universities, only a relative
handful of Americans of color went to college in the United States; today, upwards of
one in five undergraduates at four-year schools is a minority. That this revolution has
led the way to the social and economic integration of millions of minority individuals
into the mainstream of American life is remarkable, if unsurprising, because in the
past 30 years, a college education has become almost prerequisite to advancement in
our society. Equally remarkable, though less often recognized, are the contributions
these individuals make not only to American society, economic, and cultural vitality,
but also to the academic, intellectual, and educational vigor of the college and
university communities of which they are members. Nevertheless, the nation's march
to full equality of educational opportunity for all its citizens is not over.

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, 2000

Demographic shifts in the nation's population significantly increasing the percentage of people of color, the increase in the enrollment of students of color in undergraduate and graduate programs in colleges and universities, and the increase in the percentage of students of color in the nation's public elementary and secondary schools have not led to dramatic increases in the percentage of these groups among university faculty. Recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty

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