The University of Colorado is making history as students of color saw all-time highs in their graduation and retention rates.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education, Michael Grant, said the university is pleased.
“We are pleased to look at trends over the last few years with reducing the gap between graduation rates for students of color as compared to white students, mostly due to increasing graduation success of our students of color,” Grant said.
Moné Miller, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major, said she doesn’t think it’s surprising that the graduation and retention rates have increased for students of color.
“It’s not surprising, but I think it’s really sad,” Miller said. “If there were more programs specifically for students of color it might make them feel more motivated to graduate.”
According to Grant, the university has no specific programs to assist students of color. However, there are programs designed to help all students.
“We have a number of programs, open to all students, intended to assist students who need individual help and encouragement,” Grant said. “Those programs definitely benefit students of color and include the Student Academic Services Center, the Miramontes Arts and Sciences Program, residence hall tutoring, pre-collegiate bridge programs, etc.”
Edmond Santoso, an 18-year-old freshman business major, said he’s happy with the increase of graduating students of color.
“Yes, the more people who graduate, the more people will get a job and better the community,” Santoso said.
According to this website, over a 14-year period, the graduation rates of African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics/Chicanos have increased by up to 30 percent.
The website also said that out of the three minorities, Hispanics/Chicanos have increased by 12 percent in the last 14 years.
Grant said he hopes to maintain rising graduation and retention rates for student of color.
“We hope so and we will continue to work to sustain a continuing trend of improvement,” Grant said.
He said that having any increase in graduation and retention rates is pleasing because it is part of the university’s institutional goals.
“We are very pleased at the patterns tabulated by our Office of Institutional Research regarding graduation and retention rates as high levels of student success on these measures are very much part of our institutional goals,” he said.
He said these trends result from university investment in students.
“We do think these types of trends result from our investments in improving student success to graduation,” he said.
The state of Colorado tracks students who graduate within six years of starting college. The class starting in 2004, the latest to complete six years, had a graduation rate of 68 percent, which is the highest graduation rate in two decades.
However, Grant said the increase is not as great as it sounds because the general graduation rate is up only one percent.
“We want to be cautious of over-interpreting this year’s one percent improvement in our overall six-year graduation rate,” he said. “Small changes of plus or minus 1-2 percent occur from year to year without any clear ‘causative’ factors. Consequently, we like to pay most attention to general trends over a few years.”
He said it is gratifying to see positive trends in graduation rates for all students.
He said, “We invest substantial resources in many ways to assist all our students to graduate and it is gratifying to see positive trends and upward ‘bumps’.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Wilcocks at Lindsay.email@example.com.