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Lost in the Shuffle: The Critical Role of Community Colleges

Not surprisingly, debates about access and equity at four-year institutions never fail to generate their fair share of controversy. But lost in the shuffle is the critical role that two-year institutions play for many Black students.
Not surprisingly, debates about access and equity at four-year institutions never fail to generate their fair share of controversy. But lost in the shuffle is the critical role that two-year institutions play for many Black students.

On the surface, recent gains in postsecondary enrollment rates for African-Americans reveal significant progress for a group that has historically been shut out of higher education opportunities. Yet as their enrollment continues to grow at community college campuses, many of these students are struggling to attain achievement on par with other students.

"With rollbacks of affirmative action policies and increasing numbers of public four-year institutions denying entrance to borderline students, there is the prospect of declining proportions of minority students attending selective four-year institutions."

This article, written by Timothy D. Leinbach, appeared in the January 17th, 2006 publication of Black Enterprise Magazine. Leinbach is a research associate at Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Published Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006

Lost in the Shuffle: The Critical Role of Community Colleges

Not surprisingly, debates about access and equity at four-year institutions never fail to generate their fair share of controversy. But lost in the shuffle is the critical role that two-year institutions play for many Black students.

On the surface, recent gains in postsecondary enrollment rates for African-Americans reveal significant progress for a group that has historically been shut out of higher education opportunities. Yet as their enrollment continues to grow at community college campuses, many of these students are struggling to attain achievement on par with other students.

"With rollbacks of affirmative action policies and increasing numbers of public four-year institutions denying entrance to borderline students, there is the prospect of declining proportions of minority students attending selective four-year institutions."

This article, written by Timothy D. Leinbach, appeared in the January 17th, 2006 publication of Black Enterprise Magazine. Leinbach is a research associate at Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

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