By Ron French/Bridge Magazine
If Michigan wants more minority college graduates, it needs to invest in quality school counseling.
Grade school counseling.
That’s one of the recommendations in a report released today by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The report, “The Quest for Excellence: Supporting the Academic Success of Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines,” examines efforts to increase the graduation rates of minority males.
The report was released the same day that Bridge published an analysis of the African-American graduation rate at Wayne State University.
Only one in 10 African-Americans earn a degree from Wayne State within six years of enrolling, one of the lowest rates in the country. The school has the widest gap between black and white graduation rates among the nation’s public universities, Bridge found.
The six-year, black male graduation rate at Wayne State was less than 8 percent in 2009.
To a lesser extent, the same trend exists among black males in STEM majors nationally, according to the study. While 15 percent of males between the ages of 15 and 24 are black, only 5 percent of the bachelor’s degree holders are African American.
The report, based on surveys of students, faculty and administrators at 14 public universities around the country, made a series of recommendations for increasing retention and graduation rates, most of which boiled down to better academic preparation before students reach campus, including grade-school counseling and beefed-up high school curriculum.
In other words, if Michigan wants to improve college graduation rates, it may need to focus more on K-12.