Monday, November 22, 2010

Graduate Programs Grow Less Diverse Without Racial Preferences, Research Suggests

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 20, 2010
By Peter Schmidt

State bans on the use of affirmative-action preferences by public colleges have resulted in significant declines in black, Hispanic, and Native American enrollments in graduate programs, with some fields hit much harder than others, concludes the first study to broadly examine the impact of such prohibitions on graduate education.
Moreover, the only race-conscious admissions policies allowed elsewhere—"holistic" admissions policies that purport to consider race and ethnicity as part of broad, subjective evaluation of applicants—cannot necessarily be trusted to promote diversity in graduate admissions, suggests a second study, of an unnamed medical school.
Taken together the studies, both presented here Friday at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, offer grim news to those seeking to enlarge the share of advanced degrees earned by black, Hispanic, and Native American people, especially in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and medicine.

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