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University of Toledo Committed to Minority Student Success


By Willie McKether, PhD, UT VP for Diversity and Inclusion and Vise Provost

Guest Column


At The University of Toledo, our top priority is student success. To accomplish this we need to close the achievement gap among our underrepresented minority students. Iím proud to say we are making great progress, although we still have much work to do, as outlined in our Universityís Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion.


The six-year graduation rate for all students is now at a record high. In just two years, UToledo increased its graduation rate 9.3 percent from 2017 to 2019. The graduation rate for African American students increased an impressive 11.6 percent during that same time period.


Willie McKether, PhD

And we expect to see our graduation rates continue to improve because of our increased efforts to support students. Our Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program, which consists of a summer bridge program and a living learning community, gives students a head start the summer after high school graduation. Students receive a scholarship which enables them to take six undergraduate courses and covers room and board for the summer.


In addition to this program, our two early arrival programs, The Multicultural Orientation & Resources for Excellence (M.O.R.E.) Institute and Summer Scholars Program bring newly admitted students to campus three to five days in advance of the fall semester to help them make the transition from high school to college. Both programs allow students to learn about all of the resources UToledo provides to ensure their success.


One of the most important student success indicators we track is the first-to-second year retention rate. Iím pleased to report that the overall first-to-second year student retention rate at UToledo has increased for seven consecutive years. From 2016 to 2018 the overall retention rate increased 1.8 percent, with increases of 3.9 percent among African American students, 0.7 percent for Hispanic and Latino students and 15.1 percent among students who identify as multiracial.


We are committed to increasing efforts to promote access to a UToledo education and growing our numbers of underrepresented students in all academic areas. The ethnic makeup of our student body has remained mostly unchanged in recent years, which is why we recently added in September a new assistant director of multicultural admission position to our undergraduate enrollment management team. In response to national trends of declining numbers of underrepresented students in healthcare programs, we have also added a new role of associate dean of diversity and inclusion in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.


While we still have much work to do, we remain committed to implementing the strategies necessary to recruit, retain and graduate underrepresented students. We appreciate the ongoing community support in helping us achieve these goals.





Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/14/19 08:14:51 -0500.

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