Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education
Scott Swail, Watson
Redd, Kenneth E.
Perna, Laura W.
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This report was intended as a reference for key stakeholders regarding the realities of, and strategies for student retention. The authors hope that it will serve as a “compass” for those charged with the complex task of improving retention at their campus. More specifically, this reader details the findings of three levels of research. The first was an exhaustive review of the literature on the issues that affect retention of minority and underrepresented students in postsecondary education. Updating a previous study of minority-student retention in the mid-1990s by Swail (1995), this review looked at more recent issues facing underrepresented students in the college pipeline. Second, the team analyzed a number of databases to look for enrollment, persistence, and completion trends of students of color at U.S. colleges and universities. The authors also examined pre and post-college issues, such as preparation and employment. Finally, investigators conducted a series of focus groups and interviews with campus leaders and practitioners about current practice and their perspectives on how our nation’s campuses are dealing with the student retention problem.