University of South Florida Looks to Boost Black Student Graduation Rates

usfFor many years, the national college graduation rate of Black students has lagged the graduation rate of White students by 20 percentage points or more. (See JBHE post.) Colleges and universities across the United States have struggled to increase the retention and graduation rates of their Black students.

At the University of South Florida in Tampa, the six-year graduation rate for Black students who entered the university in 1999 was 50 percent. The six-year graduation rate for students who entered the university 10 years later in 2009 was 69 percent.

The Black Faculty and Staff Association at the university has been active for 45 years. Its mission includes not only helping Black faculty and staff at the university but helping Black students adjust to college life and succeed at the university. One initiative that appears to have met with success is the association’s Mentor/Mentee Match program. A large group of Black students are paired with faculty and staff members who provide support and advice to aid the students in their path to graduation.

Gene Murdock, president of the Black Faculty and Staff Association and vice provost for human resources at the university, said that “mentor relationships can directly contribute to improving student retention rates and increasing the number of students entering graduate programs. They also help students advance through school at a faster pace, be more productive, and be more responsible for the choices they make.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Central State University to Merge Two Colleges to Optimize Resources and Efficiency

The primary goal of the merger is to improve operational efficiency, support increased enrollment, and optimize resources. Notably, the focus on operational streamlining does not include any plans for staff or faculty layoffs.

Four Black Scholars Selected for Dean Positions

The dean appointments are Chukwuka Onwumechili at Howard University, Myra Bozeman at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Joan Tilghman at Coppin State University in Baltimore, and Omolola Eniola-Adefeso at the University of Illinois.

Voorhees University Launches Its First Doctor of Education Degree Program

The new doctor of education in leadership program will offer two specialized tracks for students, preparing them to become successful leaders in their chosen educational field. Students can choose to focus their studies on either PK-12 education or higher education administration.

Fielding Graduate University Honors Ronald Mason for Lifetime Achievements in HBCU Leadership

Ronald Mason has served as president of three HBCUs: Jackson State University, Southern University and A&M College, and the University of the District of Columbia, where he was the longest tenured president in the university's history.

Featured Jobs