Campus News Blog: Minority Students

February 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Kathryn Sharkey

I recently read an article from Newsweek about minority graduation rates. It has some pretty shocking information such as “The graduation rates for blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans lag far behind the graduation rates for whites and Asians.As the minority population grows in the United States, low college graduation rates become a threat to national prosperity.”

This got me wondering about SMU.

SMU has made it a priority in recent years to attract more minority students and has several programs within the Dallas area for Dallas students. But how well is SMU doing at attracting minority students?

And how is it doing at keeping and graduating the students it attracts?

I looked up the statistics from the Office of Institutional Research and found that the percent of black undergraduate students on campus has fallen from 5.2% in the fall of 2006 to 4.8% in the fall of 2009. Also, while 72% of white students graduate within six years, only 54.7% of black students do, according to The Education Trust and Newsweek.

However, the graduation rate for Latino students is almost equal to whites at 71.4%.

It seems that SMU needs to work harder to attract, keep, and graduate minority students.

I need to do more investigation to see what SMU is currently doing to help minority students, but the Newsweek article mentions the success other schools have had with mentoring groups. If we don’t already have programs like this, perhaps that is one place to start.