NORAM - Ebook

American Universities and the Case for Lifelong Learning

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NEW HORIZONS: AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES AND THE CASE FOR LIFELONG LEARNING 17 on one hand and black and latino people on the other has actually grown over time, despite the public awareness around this damaging trend. According to the Department of Education, "the gap in bachelor's degree attainment has widened for both black and Hispanic adults compared to white adults. Specifically, the gap in bachelor's degree attainment has doubled, from 9 to 20 percent for Hispanic residents since 1974 and from 6 to 13 percent for black residents since 1964." The long-term failure of the higher education system to reduce the achievement gap does not reflect a lack of effort or commitment, but it does suggest a short-sighted strategy of assuming that students of color will conform to the pre-existing norms of universities and colleges. In fact, a far higher percentage of black and latino students, according to data collected by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, are more likely to be enrolled in associate and certificate programs. Collaborating with the broader education sector to make associate and certificate programs economically effective and "stackable" toward the goal of earning a bachelor's degree would be a more impactful way of supporting opportunity for communities of color than existing programs have proven to be. Students Enrolled in Certificate and Associate's Degree Programs Are Diverse Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), 2016. Note: Percentage may not sum to 100 due to rounding. Certificate or AssociateĀ“s Degree Program Bachelor's Degree Program 18-24 25-35 36 or Older 66% 34% 64% 36% 45% 55% Bottom Income Quartile Top Income Quartile Bottom Income Quartile Top Income Quartile 59% 41% 62% 38% 24% 76% 54% 46% White Black/African American Hispanic/Latino Other 48% 52% 62% 38% 56% 44% 47% 53% Race/Ethnicity Income Level Age Dependent Students Inependent Students

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