These four proven approaches help college students of color succeed
Talent Development

These four proven approaches help college students of color succeed

Talent Hubs in Ohio, Missouri, and California are using fresh insights to address educational injustices and increase learning opportunities for all.

A new report from Equal Measure shows how Talent Hubs in Dayton, Ohio, St. Louis, and Shasta County, Calif., are working to acknowledge inequities and increase opportunities for people of color. Created by Lumina Foundation and now run by CivicLab, Talent Hubs across the nation cultivate talent with a focus on helping Black, Hispanic and Latino, and Native American students overcome tough barriers to learning.

Disparities in college attainment linked to race and ethnicity persist in all three states and across the nation. As one Talent Hub member said, “When we have so many initiatives and so many partners working on things that have been on agendas for the last 10 to 15 years … that tells us that something else is beneath the surface.”

To discover those injustices and find solutions, leaders are using these four approaches:

  • Elevate urgent needs: Address urgent off-campus issues, such as lack of food, housing, and childcare.
  • Disaggregate data: Examine student data by race, ethnicity, gender, and age to understand differences in student groups. Take a close look at enrollment, retention, debt, and degree completion data.
  • Review policies: Review policies and practices to ensure they’re not creating unequal outcomes.
  • Unearth historic injustices: Increase awareness of injustices and start to remedy those.

For instance, after Dayton acknowledged its history of redlining or discriminatory banking practices, leaders created the “Undesign the Redline” exhibit and “Roots of Racism” videos to inform and enlighten residents. New collaborations followed positive reactions, including an initiative at Dayton’s Sinclair Community College for Black men where each student is paired with supportive faculty and staff.

And in Shasta County, new policies aimed at helping Native American students, victims of longstanding discrimination, mean tribal leaders are engaged to help make learning at all levels more inclusive. Under a new California law, tribal holidays and celebrations are designated as excused “culture days” for students, reducing absenteeism.

Led by Ohio’s Learn to Earn Dayton, Missouri’s St. Louis Graduates, and California’s Shasta College North State Together, all three regions are making progress and gaining a better understanding of today’s student.

As one student put it: “Help me get to where I want to be the same way you do it for white students.”

As one student put it: “Help me get to where I want to be the same way you do it for white students.”

By illuminating root injustices and learning from our Talent Hubs, we can address injustices, repair partnerships, and build a fairer, more equitable future for us all.

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