Despite Higher Engagement, Black Males Struggle In Completing College

Career College Central summary:

  • Higher engagement among community college students overall leads to better outcomes, but a new study shows a significant gap in the level of engagement and success between black and white male students.
  • A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) at the University of Texas at Austin affirms that within every student group based on race and gender, higher engagement is associated with better outcomes. However, even though black males report the highest overall engagement, they also yield the lowest outcomes when compared to other groups. Meanwhile, white males are the least engaged but report the best outcomes. Only 5 percent of black males and Latinos attending community college earn a certificate or degree within three years, compared to 32 percent of white males.
  • The results of study — which were compiled using CCCSE surveys and student focus groups — are unsettling but not surprising, as CCCSE data over the past decade has consistently shown this pattern, said CCCSE Director Kay McClenney. The cause of the gaps is linked to college readiness, including ineffective developmental education. It can also be partially the result of “stereotype threat” — the fear of fulfilling a stereotype based on race, age, gender and the like. CCCSE devotes a significant portion of its report to stereotype threat, citing work by social psychologist Claude Steele.

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