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Improving Minority Retention in Higher Education: A Search for Effective Institutional Practices

Clewell, Beatriz Chu; Ficklen, Myra S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Boston College, California State University, Fresno, College Role, Dropouts, Institutional Characteristics, Minority Groups, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, School Holding Power


This study examined programs and policies at four four-year predominantly White institutions with good minority retention in an attempt to identify variables that enhance minority retention. The differences found across institutions demonstrate that retention efforts for minority students can be developed and carried out successfully in many different ways, at different types of institutions. Although much diversity was found among the programs, certain common characteristics appear to be elements of successful retention efforts: the presence of a stated policy on minority enrollments; a high level of institutional commitment; a substantial degree of institutionalization of the program; comprehensiveness of services; dedicated staff; systematic collection of data, monitoring, and follow-up; strong faculty support; and non-stigmatization of participants. (167pp.)

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