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Statistics show that there has been some progress in increasing diversity in higher education and improving educational opportunities for individuals in specific groups. US Census Bureau data shows progresseducational successin different ethnic groups between 2010 and 2019; However, the data also point to gaps between white students and those from some minority groups. For example, according to the Census Bureau, more than 40% of white students earned at least a bachelor's degree in 2019, compared to just 18.8% of Hispanic/Latino students.
Other data that highlight diversity gaps in higher education include enrollment ofGraduates 2019🇧🇷 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 66.2% of all students who graduated from high school between January and October 2019 were enrolled in a college or university, down nearly 3% from the year before. last year. Data show that college enrollment was highest among Asian and white students and lowest among black and Hispanic students. A breakdown of 2019 enrollments by race/ethnicity based on BLS data is as follows:
- Branco: 89,9%
- Asians: 66.9%
- Hispanic/Latino: 63.4%
- Negro: 50,7%
LosNational Center for Education Statistics, student enrollmentprovides comprehensive data for anyone interested in more educational statistics relevant to undergraduate enrollment.
How can higher education leaders and policymakers address these ongoing issues? Looking at the factors that contribute to the emergence of diversity gaps is crucial to improving diversity in higher education.
Diversity gaps in higher education
School segregation and educational inequalityThey are closely related, according to the New York Times, which reports that more than 50% of school-age children in the US live in racially concentrated counties. Some counties are also segregated by income. These factors amplify diversity gaps in higher education.
Other causes of these gaps are structural inequalities, disparities in access to resources and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Digging into these topics is a critical step in creating moreequity in education.
Institutions in business, education, government, law, media, and other sectors have policies that prevent racial and ethnic groups from succeeding in their academic endeavors and advancing in their lives. Together, these policies form the backbone of structural inequality, a term that describes a system that prevents groups from obtaining resources that enable social and economic advancement.
Structural inequality is often a product of the socioeconomic disadvantages of some groups. For example, wealthier parents can send their children to private schools known for academic excellence. On the other hand, financially disadvantaged parents often have little or no choice where to send their children to school. For students, this can mean attending a low-performing school, defined by the US Department of Education asthe bottom 10%in your state.
Resources on Structural Inequality
The following resources provide information about structural inequality in higher education.
- Higher Education Today, "Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Students."This resource provides context for the profound challenges posed by persistent inequality.
- The Balance, "What is Structural Inequality?"The system of structural inequality, especially from an economic point of view, is discussed in detail.
- The diversity gap. Through a series of podcasts focused on racial justice and diversity, this resource can help support the learning journey of individuals trying to address structural inequality and the diversity gap in their organizations.
High schools in communities with large numbers of underrepresented minorities, including black and Hispanic students, lack access to the educational resources they need to prepare for college and careers. These inequalities, which underpin diversity gaps in higher education, are also present in schools residing in communities with high populations of students experiencing poverty.
Inequalities in access are often the result offunding gaps🇧🇷 Districts with the largest populations of Black, Hispanic or Native American students receive about 13% less funding per student than other school districts, according to The Education Trust. This lack of adequate funding can have several consequences:
- Underfunded schools often lack the resources to prepare students for success in higher education and the job market.
- Students are deprived of the opportunity to learn at the same level as students in more affluent neighborhoods.
- With smaller technology budgets, students in disadvantaged schools often struggle especially with STEM-related subjects.
Resources, data and statistics: differences in access
The following resources provide information about differences in access to higher education.
- American Council on Education, "Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report".This resource provides decision makers with essential data and other relevant information about the persistent equity gaps in higher education.
- Center for American Progress, "The Overlooked Racial Disparity in College: Racial Disparities Among Graduates."This resource presents findings on equity in higher education, including statistics and recommendations for policymakers and school leaders.
- National Science Foundation, "Higher Education in Science and Technology".This resource provides statistics that highlight disparities in science and engineering degree attainment by gender and race/ethnic group.
- Die National Academies Press,Monitoring educational equity, “Indicators of Disparities in Access to Educational Opportunities”.Segregation, school climate, teacher diversity, lack of access to a quality curriculum, and others are indicators of educational disparity that are discussed in detail in this chapter of the book.
The impact of COVID-19
LosCOVID-19 pandemic and structural inequalitiesinequalities have increased. It could be?School closures affect academic performancelong term? McKinsey & Company reports that learning loss during the pandemic is likely to affect low-income black and Hispanic students more in some wayshurt these studentsforever. The reasons for these effects are:
- Limited or no access to the high-quality technology needed for distance learning
- Distracting home environments not conducive to studying and studying
- Devices that need to be shared with others in college dorms
- No high speed internet access
- Lack of school supervision by parents.
LosThe global pandemic also affects studentsimpeding your ability to find employment to meet your basic needs or pay off your student loans. While the US government's stimulus checks have helped many Americans, countless college students are left to fend for themselves, according to The Century Foundation.
Resources on the impact of the pandemic on higher education
The following resources provide information about the impact of COVID-19 on higher education.
- Inside Higher Ed, "Higher Education and Work in the Midst of Crisis".This article shows the connection between the pandemic and increasing gaps in higher education and careers.
- The Brookings Institution, "Webinar: Education and Structural Inequalities During COVID-19: How Do Finland and the US Compare?"In a globalized society, examining other countries' education systems can provide additional context for the structural inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource compares the US and Finnish school systems.
The benefits of bridging the gap
Working to close the diversity gap in higher education can pay off in many ways. This is reported, for example, by a recent Forbes articleDiversity drives innovationand business financial results. It can also provide important socioeconomic benefits for affected individuals as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Diverse environments encourage teamwork and performance, drive better business outcomes and improve profitability. For example, after aNotify McKinsey & Company, the US economy would have been much larger in 2019 if the performance gaps had been closed in 2009.
Other advantages are:
- Improved learning environments.Diversity in higher education enriches students' learning experience by providing opportunities to interact with people from different backgrounds. This improves collaboration and innovation skills.
- Improve cultural competence.Diversity in higher education prepares graduates for an increasingly globalized world and provides essential skills for navigating their careers in dynamic, multicultural work environments.
- Greater Opportunity.Diversity in education increases the chances of minorities gaining access to high-level positions that may require advanced degrees and gives students from historically underrepresented communities a chance to see themselves in their leaders.
- Stronger workforce.Closing the diversity gap can impact the entire workforce. Diversity encourages employees to respect different nationalities and be more considerate of one another. This contributes to productivity and teamwork.
Resources on the benefits of diversity
For more information about the diversity gap in higher education and the potential benefits of closing it, see the following resources:
- Everfi, "The Top 5 Ways Diversity in Education Benefits Student Success."Diversity in education benefits college students by enriching the educational experience, challenging stereotypes, and in other ways highlighted throughout this resource.
- Society for Health Psychology, "Diversity Blog: How Campus Diversity Benefits All Students."This resource provides information on how colleges and universities can benefit from diversity.
The importance of diversity in higher education
Higher education has become more diverse over the past decade. According to the Census Bureau, more people age 25 and older earned a bachelor's degree or higher in 2019 than in 2010. Here's a breakdown by race/ethnicity:
- Asia: from 52.4% in 2010 to 58.1% in 2019
- White: from 33.2% in 2010 to 40.1% in 2019
- Black: from 19.8% in 2010 to 26.1% in 2019
- Hispanic/Latino: from 13.9% in 2010 to 18.8% in 2019
However, disparities remain. Although more and more students come from poor families, they are generally enrolledless selective colleges, according to the Pew Research Center.
One of the main goals of diversity in higher education is to reduce the gap between white populations and racial and ethnic minorities. By promoting and cultivating a higher level of diversity in higher education, schools can help deliver numerous benefits to society. For example, an important aspect of a diverse campus is its impact on a person's worldview, which can help prepare students for the real world and improve their chances of success in a globalized workplace.
Educational equity is also important for economic advancement. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows a diploma offers a four-year degreepositive financial returnsfor families from disadvantaged backgrounds.
How universities can help close the gap
Colleges and universities need to close the diversity gap on their campuses to ensure students are prepared with the skills and understanding needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Universities can employ one of several strategies to fill this gap and mitigate its impact.
Improve mentoring and guidance
Mentoring can play a crucial role in thisimprove diversity🇧🇷 The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report that "Effective mentoring relationships have an overall positive impact on academic performance, retention, and graduation, as well as job success and satisfaction." Colleges and universities need to think about biases and biases that can harm mentor-mentee relationships and incorporate active listening and cultural sensitivity to maximize mentoring impact.
Establish clearer and more comprehensive benchmarks for long-term performance
In its 2019 report, "Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education," the American Council on Education statesAbout 45% of undergraduate studentson college campuses identify as people of color, a significant 30% increase in two decades. This statistic offers a glimmer of hope that college campuses are becoming more diverse to reflect today's multicultural society. Some universities perform better than others. By establishing long-term benchmarks with national quotas, universities and colleges can further improve diversity on their campuses.
Increase diversity among faculty and staff
The campus diversity statistics above show that leadership and faculty at colleges and universities still do not reflect student diversity. By hiring diverse faculty and staff, colleges and universities can help theirThe leadership reflects the better performance of its student populations.and reflects society at large.
Create a rigorous yet personalized learning environment
A personalized approach to learning matches a student's preferred pace of learning. Personalized Learning provides an adaptive system that uses student data to provide teachers with a detailed view of student progress. This information helps them understand and assess a student's knowledge, identify skill gaps, and plan interventions to get students back on track.
Executive Resources: Stats and Strategies
Colleges and universities can consult the following resources to discover statistics and strategies that can help close the diversity gap on their campus.
- American Council on Education, Climate and Inclusion in Higher Education.Senior academic leaders can use the resources on this site to ensure equal opportunities for students of all backgrounds on college campuses.
- Information Center for Educational Resources, Diversity.Educators will find here a wide range of information and materials on all topics; A search for the term diversity returns over 37,000 results.
- HigherEd360, Diversity-Ressourcen.This simple resource provides links to organizations and programs dedicated to promoting equity in education.
Closing the diversity gap means opportunities for all
Diversity in higher education is a civil rights issue. By closing the diversity gap, colleges and universities are preparing students for college and work, improving their social and economic standing, and equipping them with the resources, knowledge, and skills to contribute to society for decades to come.
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