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SDSU Closes Graduation Gap For Minorities

Audio

Aired 3/22/11

San Diego State is doing a far better job of graduating minority students than the national average for colleges and universities.

More minorities are graduating from college than ever before, with San Diego State University leading the way.

The number of minority graduates at SDSU in May 2010 nearly equaled the number of white graduates. The nearly 3,000 minority graduates represents a 30 percent jump from 8 years ago.

Geoff Chase, dean of SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies said that historically minorities have struggled to finish college.

“I think sometimes it’s a lack of academic preparation,” he said. “I think sometimes it’s financial; I think sometimes it’s because institutions have not figured out how to provide as much support as they might to those students."

The rate of minority graduates almost directly reflected the overall breakdown of students attending the university. Roughly half of the 24,000 undergraduate students at SDSU in 2010 were minorities.

Chase attributed the growing number of minority graduates to programs and opportunities tailored to that population.

"Everything from the student-success program, to the living-learning residential communities, the honors program...all of these programs combine to create a culture of high achievement," he said.

While minorities at SDSU are making strides, nationally there's still a 10-percent gap in graduation rates between whites and minorities.

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