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Anew study has found that some colleges are instrumental in closing the graduation gap between Blacks and Whites, even though the gap remained stubbornly wide when overall graduation rates increased, according to the Hechinger Report.

The report, Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase?, written by The Education Trust, is based on 232 four-year public colleges. What they have in common is improved graduation rates over a 10-year period.

The researchers found an overall increase in the Black graduation rate between 2003 and 2013. At the same time, though, the gap with White students also increased.

One of the lessons of the study is that certain programs made a difference at the colleges that closed the gap, the researchers said.

At Ohio State University, 73 percent of Black students graduated in 2013—a 26 percent climb from 2003. The graduation gap with White students also decreased by 9 percent.

The institution credits that success to programs that support minority and first-generation students. One of the programs highlighted by Hechinger starts with middle school students and nurtures them academically and financially through college.

In another success story, Texas Tech University had a part in raising the Black graduation rate by 10 percent, while also closing the gap with White students by 4 percentage points.

Hechinger reports that a key to Texas Tech’s success is the institution’s Mentor Tech program, which focuses on reducing the dropout rate among students of color. The program conducts about five dozen workshops each year, which cover academics, career, and personal issues for minority students.

SOURCE: Hechinger Report | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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