In a recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kevin Gannon makes a compelling case for inclusive teaching practices as a tool for increasing success for colleges and universities. We are seeing a continued slide in enrollments – a particular challenge for tuition-driven institutions.
Put simply, everyone’s fighting for a piece of the same shrinking pie.
But on the other side of that process, we are also seeing worrying “disparity in persistence and completion rates for African-American and Hispanic students”. He notes data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s recent report on college completion that …
“When examined by race and ethnicity, Asian and white students had much higher completion rates (68.9 percent and 66.1 percent, respectively) than Hispanic and black students (48.6 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively). Black students represent the only group that is more likely to stop out or discontinue enrollment than to complete a credential within six years … Among students who started in four-year public institutions, black students had the lowest six-year completion rate (46.0 percent). The completion rate of Hispanic students was almost 10 percentage points higher (55.7 percent). Over two-thirds of white students (71.7 percent) and three-quarters of Asian students (75.8 percent) completed a degree within the same period.”
What makes this case different is a call to bring inclusiveness into the academic realm by making a commitment to inclusive pedagogy. Of course this approach doesn’t address the deeply embedded structural disparities of our society. Yet, I see hope in providing a space where we as educators can make a difference – by using evidence-based pedagogies that have been shown to close the completion gap. I encourage you to read the column!
If you are looking for more reading or places to start in your own courses, check out this growing resource list for inclusive pedagogy and course design. If you have a resource to add, please leave a comment on the document.