aspirations to achievement

Study Highlights Achievement Gap for Minority Men at Community Colleges

The Center for Community College Student Engagement published a study related to its new initiative, Improving Outcomes for Men of Color in Community Colleges. Although men of color make up the largest portion of community college students, there remains a great disparity between the academic performance of men of color and white male students’ academic performance in these institutions.  The report on this study indicates that community colleges should initiate addressing the disparity between these groups because they are designed to create open access to education.  Ultimately, ensuring the academic success of men of color at community colleges provides a more effective measure of addressing the increased challenges that institutions of higher education must meet.  Furthermore, addressing the needs of minority men at community colleges benefits everyone.

The article provides the following facts:

  • 39% of white Americans and 71% of Asian Americans earned an associate degree or higher since 2008, compared to only 30% of African Americans and 20% of Latinos
  • In the Fall of 2012, 49% of all Black undergraduates enrolled in community colleges, while 56% of Hispanic undergraduates enrolled in community colleges
  • 68% of Black men who start college do not graduate within 6 years

The following suggestions are made for community colleges to address the disparity of academic performance among minority men compared to whites:

  • Implement high-impact educational practice for all students who are disadvantaged, which ultimately will affect the majority of the school’s population
  • Emphasize campus diversity and cultural competence
  • Disaggregate data and monitor engagement and outcomes for different student groups

Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School