Improving part-time community college students’ academic performance may play a key role in closing higher-ed equity gaps, according to new research.
In a number of surveys administered by EAB, equity has emerged as a top concern, and college presidents consistently rank closing the achievement gap in critical populations as among their top three greatest concerns.
Although community colleges have started to enroll more economically-disadvantaged students, those students are not graduating at rates comparable to their peers, according to Reframing the Question of Equity, an EAB whitepaper. What’s worse, they drop out and retain debt.
Community college students are increasingly diverse, and traditionally underrepresented student populations have increased. Gaps in college access and enrollment have started to shrink. But while underrepresented minorities are more likely to attend community colleges than their white peers, too few of them graduate, leaving gaping degree attainment gaps.