New research about the graduation rate disparity between black and white students is highlighted in a March 2016 article in Inside Higher Ed.

Referring to a study by the Education Trust, writer Jake New points out that overall graduation rates have increased between 2003 and 2013 at a majority of the institutions studied by the group. However, increases for black students are still smaller than for white students.

Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education produced similar results. New quotes Shaun Harper, the center's executive director: “There’s been a slight increase in graduation rates, about three percentage points, but it’s been across the board, so that doesn’t narrow the racial equity gaps.”

New also highlights Ohio State University, whose graduation rate for black students has increased by more than 25 percent since 2003. According to the Education Trust report, this could be due in part to the OSU’s Young Scholars program, which provides mentoring for low-income black students.

He concludes with insights from Andrew Nichols, co-author of the Education Trust report, regarding solutions for increasing graduation rates for black students: “There are some things that we know work: remediation, better advising and course scheduling, providing cleaner pathways toward a degree. All these things are important and helpful, but you can’t just do them. You have to do them well.”

Read the article in full at Inside Higher Ed.

What are your thoughts on the findings presented in the article? What steps has your institution taken to close the graduation gap?

Image by Elias Gayles