U.S. Higher-Education System Perpetuates White Privilege

Colleges and universities have succeeded in attracting more underrepresented-minority students, but that increased access for black and Hispanic students has been accompanied by increasing campus polarization on the basis of race and ethnicity, says a report released on Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

The result, it says, is a system in which elite selective colleges enroll predominantly white students while black and Hispanic students, even high-achieving ones, largely attend open-access institutions. Because the latter group of colleges spends less on instruction and sees lower shares of students through to graduation, higher education has thus become a “passive agent” in perpetuating white privilege, says the report, “Separate and Unequal: How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege.”

“The postsecondary system mimics and magnifies the racial and ethnic inequality in educational preparation it inherits from the K-12 system and then projects this inequality into the labor market,” the report says.

From 1995 to 2009, freshman enrollments increased for African-American students by 73 percent, for Hispanic students by 107 percent, and for white students by 15 percent, according to the report. <Read more.>

Via Casey McDermott, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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