Many local schools have narrowed the grad gap
A few dozen of the nation's colleges have drawn notice lately for overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in graduation rates. Several of them are concentrated in the Washington region.
In a story published Sunday, I focus on the gap-closing efforts at Towson University, as good an example as I could find anywhere in the nation.
Before I turn to the others, let me explain why Towson is regarded as a prime example of success in attacking the graduation gap.
America's colleges and universities number in the thousands. Many of them don't serve sufficient numbers of minority students to calculate statistically reliable "gaps." Only some of those schools have small enough gaps to merit praise. An even smaller number have graduation rates high enough to hold up as any kind of national example. (Closing the gap seems less meaningful if the graduation rate is below the national average.)
Here are some schools in Washington, Maryland and Virginia that have drawn attention for closing their gaps. Click on the links for more details.
George Mason University. The Education Trust cites the Northern Virginia institution as one of just 11 schools nationwide with no appreciable gap among whites, blacks or Hispanics. According to EdTrust's analysis of rates from 2006 to 2008, GMU's graduation rates are 63 percent for blacks, 57 percent for whites and 59 percent for Hispanics.
Christopher Newport University. This Virginia public institution is cited by EdTrust for a small black-white gap. Grad rates are 50 percent for whites, 56 percent for blacks. Hispanic graduation rates are lower.
Old Dominion University, Va. The grad rate here is 51 percent for blacks, 47 percent for whites. Below the national average, but gap-free. Grad rates for Hispanics are lower.
Radford University, Va. Grad rates: 60 percent for blacks, 58 percent for whites. Hispanic rates are lower.
UMBC. Grad rates are 60 percent for both blacks and whites. Grad rates are high for Hispanics as well, and I'm not sure why EdTrust doesn't cite the school in its list of high-performing schools with Hispanic students.
Mary Baldwin College. This Virginia private college has a 53 percent grad rate for blacks, 48 percent for whites. Hispanic rates are more volatile.
American University. Grad rates average 74 percent for blacks, 75 percent for whites. The Hispanic rate dipped in 2006.
Virginia Tech. Graduation rates here are an even 80 percent for both Hispanics and whites. Black completion rates are lower.
Virginia Commonwealth University. The completion rate is 47 percent for whites, 45 percent for Hispanics, a gap of 2 points. Black completion rates are a tad lower.
James Madison University. A two-point gap between Hispanics (80.7 percent) and whites (82.4 percent). Black grad rates lag.
And what about ...
University of Maryland? The latest data (from 2008) show completion rates of 68 percent for blacks, 76 percent for Hispanics and 84 percent for whites.
University of Virginia? Grad rates are in the 90s for whites, in the 80s for blacks and Hispanics.
Daniel de Vise
| December 13, 2010; 4:51 PM ET
Categories: Attainment | Tags: college attainment, college completion, college completion gap, college graduation, graduation gap
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