Special Edition: Boosting Retention for Ethnic Minority Students

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How does your campus support the academic success and retention of ethnic minority students?

In “Campus Diversity: Beyond Just Enrollment,” Mary Hinton, the vice president for planning and assessment at Mount Saint Mary College, argues that often colleges and universities have prioritized enrolling an ethnically diverse incoming class without planning for the follow-through: academic success and retention, as well as completion rates and career outcomes for minority students.

“We have to realize diversity isn’t just an issue of access. It isn’t just about getting minorities in the door. That is certainly an important step, but a diverse institution isn’t just about who is enrolled. It’s about who is having successful outcomes. It’s about the quality of the student experience.”
Mary Hinton, Mount Saint Mary College

Yet, recently, a number of institutions have made significant strides in adopting a more holistic approach to serving ethnic minority students. Iowa’s public institutions provide an especially useful set of test cases, because over the past couple of years, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa have each piloted different initiatives to boost persistence and academic success for their ethnic minority students, particularly African Americans.

In this Special Edition, we’ve reached out to experts at those institutions as well as others across North America to learn what approaches or programming can make a difference in boosting the retention of ethnic minority students. Among the advice these experts have offered:

We hope you will find this edition useful and use it to start key conversations across academic support services and student affairs at your campus.