The Education Trust released a report today about the graduation rates of students from minority students at hundreds of American public colleges and universities:
Looking at the progress minority students have made in public institutions from 2002 to 2007, there is a lot of good news to report. A clear majority of all types of public colleges—about 60 percent—have seen improved graduation rates for minorities. The increases average nearly eight percentage points over five years.
Some colleges have boosted minority graduation rates considerably more. Twenty-five percent of “gainers” improved by 10 percentage points or more, and 10 percent increased by 15 points or more. Among the top gainers, the graduation rates for minority students rose upwards of 20 points in five years.
Among the top schools in terms of closing the achievement gap were Michigan Technological University, Georgia State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and the University of Georgia.
At all of these schools the minority graduation rate was within four points of the total graduation rate. How did the universities do this? Well it’s a little unclear precisely what strategies these top five schools pursued, but Ed Trust recommends partnering with high schools, focusing on student progress freshman year, improving remedial courses, and giving students better financial aid.