University of Minnesota Aims to Boost Retention and Graduation Rate of Black Students

The board of regents of the University of Minnesota is set to approve a resolution calling for increased efforts to improve the retention and graduation rates of African Americans and other underrepresented groups. The resolution calls for the university to increase recruitment efforts at high schools with large numbers of students from underrepresented groups, improve graduation rates for these students, and to improve the campus climate for students of color.

Bob McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, stated that “we’ve been making good progress in the recruitment and enrollment of students of color. We’re going to dial up those places where we think these underrepresented minorities are having some trouble in succeeding” in order that we have a batter chance “of making sure that students are not leaving after the third or second year.”

For first-year students who enrolled at the flagship Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2010, 80 percent of Whites earned their degrees within six years. For African Americans the figure was 63 percent.

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