Campus leaders commit to equity in student outcomes
BY DENNIS PIERCE
Community colleges have made great strides in advancing student success and completion during the last decade. But not all students have benefited from these efforts equally. According to the Lumina Foundation, the postsecondary attainment rate for adults in the United States is around 40 percent. Yet, there are still large gaps in attainment between various student populations.
For instance, just 27 percent of African American adults have a college degree
or certificate. For Native American and Latinx adults, the numbers are even
smaller: 23 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
“We know we have moved the needle (on completion), but we also know
there is more work to be done,” says Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of
the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). “Is it truly success if
only some of our students are achieving their goals? I don’t think so. We have a
moral imperative to provide success for all of our students.”
To identify these gaps and support all students having an equal chance
at success, AACC has launched a new national initiative called Unfinished
Business. The effort kicked off in December with the first of a series of
national meetings to discuss the issue.
Unfinished Business is not about identifying every obstacle to success,
Bumphus says, but is about “having the tools to identify equity issues and