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Cultural Diversity: Breaking Barriers, Widening Perspectives
6 CEUs Cultural Diversity: Breaking Barriers, Widening Perspectives

Section 18
The Results of Race-Based Policies

Question 18 | Answer Booklet | Table of Contents

In recent years, the use of race in college admissions has been vigorously contested in several states and in the courts. In 1996, a federal appeals court in New Orleans, deciding the Hopwood vs. Texas case, based politics Cultural Diversity CEUsdeclared such a race-sensitive policy unconstitutional when its primary aim is not to remedy some specific wrong from the past. Californians have voted to ban all consideration of race in admitting students to public universities. Surprisingly, however, amid much passionate debate, there has been little hard evidence of how these policies work and what their consequences have been.

To remedy this deficiency, we examined the college and later-life experiences of more than 35,000 students—almost 3,000 of whom were black—who had entered 28 selective colleges and universities in the fall of 1976 and the fall of 1989. This massive database, built jointly by the schools and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for the first time links information such as SAT scores and college majors to experiences after college, including graduate and professional degrees, earnings and civic involvement. Most of our study focused on African Americans and whites, because the Latino population at these schools was too small to permit the same sort of analysis. What did we discover?

Compared with their extremely high-achieving white classmates, black students in general received somewhat lower college grades and graduated at moderately lower rates. The reasons for these disparities are not fully understood, and selective institutions need to be more creative in helping improve black performance, as a few universities already have succeeded in doing. Still, 75 percent graduated within six years, a figure well above the 40 percent of blacks and 59 percent of whites who graduated nationwide from the 305 universities tracked by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Moreover, blacks did not earn degrees from these selective schools by majoring in easy subjects. They chose substantially the same concentrations as whites and were just as likely to have difficult majors, such as those in the sciences.
- Bowen, William G. and Bok, Derek. Race Relations: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, Inc. San Diego, CA, 2001.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

Personal Reflection Exercise #4
The preceding section contained information about the results of race-based policies. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

QUESTION 18
According to Bowen and Bok, what did their study discover about the performances of African-American college students as compared to their white classmates? Record the letter of the correct answer the Answer Booklet.

 
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The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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