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Stony Brook University Continues to Improve Graduation Rates for Underrepresented Students

Jul 26, 2013 - 8:45:31 AM

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Stony Brook University
STONY BROOK, NY, July 26, 2013 – Stony Brook University has again been cited by The Education Trust for its success in improving graduation rates -- this time specifically for improved graduation rates among Hispanic students -- in a national report, "Intentionally Successful: Improving Minority Student College Graduation Rates."

According to Joseph Yeado, Higher Education Research and Policy Analyst at the Education Trust, Stony Brook has driven enormous gains over the past nine years, increasing graduation rates for all students from 53.7 percent to 67.0 percent between 2002 and 2011. He made special note of Stony Brook’s success in improving the graduation rate for Hispanic students.

“Between 2010 and 2011 the graduation rate for Hispanic students at Stony Brook University grew from 58.1 percent to 66.5 percent,” said Yeado.

In the 2013 report, The Education Trust used data from the U.S. Department of Education to determine that during the past three years, the number of black and Latino undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges has increased far faster than the enrollment of white students. Stony Brook is included among the report’s institutions of higher education that are leading in closing the college-completion gap.

“This is gratifying news, and it motivates us to continue to pursue a higher standard for student success" said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “This new report unequivocally indicates that our advising efforts, our retention programs and our faculty initiatives are having a positive impact on disadvantaged students and our entire student population as well.”

This is not the first time the University has been recognized for improving graduation rates among minorities. In 2012, The Education Trust highlighted Stony Brook in two reports of colleges and universities that have been narrowing the graduation-rate gaps of underrepresented students. At that time, SBU was noted for an increased graduation rate among Hispanic students and for its continued success with African-American students.

“This is one indicator of an overall culture that is aligned to focus on the academic success of all our students,” said Charles L. Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges.
“Stony Brook has been very successful in both developing sub-communities that address needs of underrepresented groups and helping these students to engage with the vast human and material resources of a major research University,” said David Ferguson, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. “In addition, faculty, administrators, staff and students have worked together to support curricular and pedagogical innovations that are helping all students learn better. We are delighted that these strong collaborations are enhancing students' graduation rates.”

“If more colleges act on lessons from their faster gaining peers — such as UNC-Greensboro, Stony Brook and Northeastern — far more will be successful in improving graduation rates for all students and closing long-standing gaps between minority students and their white classmates.” said Yeado.

The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels — pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement, especially for students from low-income families or who are black, Latino or American Indian.

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© Stony Brook University 2013

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