College Group Issues Minority-Recruitment Guide

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Washington--The American Council on Education has published a guidebook designed to help colleges and universities close the growing gap between white and minority enrollments in higher education.

The book offers college leaders suggestions for attracting more minority students, faculty members, and administrators to their institutions, and for making the campus climate more hospitable to them once they get there.

Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos was among the educators who appeared at a news conference here last week marking the release of the guidebook, Minorities on Campus: A Handbook for Enhancing Diversity.

"I hope this document is on the shelf of every American university president," said Mr. Cavazos, a former president of Texas Tech University. "I can't really think of any more vital issue for a university president than this."

The president of the ace, Robert H. Atwell, said the book was prepared in response to a number of discouraging reports on minority involvement in higher education. He cited recent ace studies of enrollment trends and last year's report from the Commission on Minority Participation in Education and American Life.

The panel's report, "One Third of a Nation," concluded that "America is moving backward, not forward, in its efforts to achieve the full participation of minority citizens in the life and prosperity of the nation."

The new guidebook notes that college attendance by blacks and Hispanics has dropped despite the fact that higher education's pool of potential students is increasingly made up of minority youths.

The strategies the book recommends for recruiting minority undergraduate students include:

Creation of weekend and summer programs for minority youths.

Establishment of cooperative educational arrangements between four-year institutions and local community colleges.

The admission of higher-risk minority students, who would then be provided with tutorial services to help them adapt to college.

The book cites dozens of successful programs currently in place. A special chapter focuses on efforts at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Miami-Dade Community College, and Mount St. Mary's College in California.

The three institutions, the book says, share several elements in their minority programs: "leadership from the top, sustained support for students, and a commitment to institutional change and to diversity as part of the campus ethos."

Copies of the book can be purchased for $17.50 each, prepaid, from the American Council on Education, Publications--Department M2, 1 Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036.--mw

Vol. 08, Issue 20

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