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UCR's Small Graduation Gap Between Whites and Minorities Called Out

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UCR was the only public university in California to make both lists.

UC Riverside is among the nation’s leaders in minimizing racial gaps in graduation rates for African American and Hispanic undergraduates, according to two companion studies released today by Washington DC based non-profit, Education Trust.

The two reports are:

"Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Outpace Others in Graduating African- American Students"

"Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Outpace Others in Graduating Hispanic Students."

UC Riverside was the only public university in California – and, in fact, the only public university not on the East Coast -- to make both lists.

“At UCR, white and latino students graduate at approximately the same rates, 62 percent and 63 percent, respectively. Furthermore, about two-thirds of all students graduate within six years, a rate higher than at the average college or university and at most of UCR’s peer institutions as well,” according to the Education Trust report.

Black students graduate at even higher rates than white students at UCR.

That puts UCR among fewer than a dozen colleges and universities in the country identified in the “small gap” categories in both lists.

And it prompted the authors of the report to ask for the reasons behind the success.

“When it comes to students of color, success builds on itself,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White.

“Our faculty and staff maintain an unyielding commitment to the idea that diversity is a source of academic excellence.”

UCR’s undergraduate student population is about 8 percent Black and about 30 percent Hispanic, which reflects the diversity of this region of California.

“Through our freshman transition programs and other student support services, we strive to ensure that students from all backgrounds can achieve success,” White said. “We intend to continue to improve in these areas.”

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dallas Rabenstein was interviewed by the authors of the report.

“Diversity is a cornerstone of our strategic plan, and goes hand-inhand with student success,” he said. “When we admit students, we feel an ethical obligation to do what is necessary for them to succeed,” he said.

To ensure success, individual colleges and schools at UCR track data, design learning communities and link students to support services, said Bill Kidder, who is the Assistant Executive Vice Chancellor. He also pointed to a robust relationship between academic affairs and student affairs.

The two research briefs by Education Trust are intended to focus on an important measure of how effectively institutions are serving African American and Hispanic students. The studies looked at freshmen graduation rates across three years (2006- 2008) in order to capture reliable trends in American higher education.

Exactly 456 colleges and universities were included in the African- American analysis and 336 were included in the Hispanic analysis.

Education Trust is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, working on behalf of students at all levels of education to transform schools and colleges.


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