According to a recent study done by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
On Monday, The Commission released its annual briefing report on The Educational Effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)and Encouraging Minority Students to Pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers. The study found that students at historically black colleges and universities reported higher levels of academic involvement in their studies and in faculty research projects than black students at non-HBCUs.
According to The Commission, the success of these programs comes from the lack of “academic mismatch” that is often found at non-HBCUs. Academic mismatch occurs when an admitted student’s credentials fall below those of the median student in that program.
The study concluded that academic mismatch is a substantial factor in the disproportionate attrition rates in science-related programs, regardless of race. However, The Commission noted that racially preferential admissions policies contribute to the high attrition rates in Hispanic and black students in comparison to median students at non-HBCUs. Instead of admitting STEM students to simply meet quotas, The Commission recommended that schools refrain from admitting any STEM student who does not meet the median credentials of students already in the program.