Montclair State Lauded for Leadership in Minority Graduation Rates

University listed among top 25 public higher education institutions in the nation for minority graduation rate increases

Photo: Mike Peters

Montclair State University has been named a “Top Gainer” and a “Top Gap Closer,” and listed among the top 25 public four-year colleges and universities in the nation for its improvements in minority graduation rates by The Education Trust, a Washington DC-based, non-profit advocacy group. Among the Carnegie classification’s 186 public master’s institutions included in the study, Montclair State was the only New Jersey institution to be listed in the top 25.

The Education Trust’s report, “Top Gainers,” noted that between 2002 and 2007, the graduation rate for underrepresented minority (URM) students—those of African American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage—at Montclair State increased by a substantial 14 percent, nearly double the average increase of all public master’s institutions that made gains during that period. That increase put the University’s 2007 URM six-year graduation rate of 54.9 percent well above the 35.6 percent national average for public master’s institutions for that year.

The University was also ranked in the top 25 nationally in the companion report, “Top Gap Closers,” which listed those institutions which were most successful in closing the gap between the graduation rates of minority and non-minority students. Between 2002 and 2007, Montclair State narrowed that gap by 13.4 percent, a figure that places the University in the number five spot nationally on the list for public master’s institutions.

The report highlighted Montclair State for its successes, noting that “Montclair has the highest graduation rate for underrepresented minority students among the 15 most similar institutions identified in College Results Online.”

The Education Trust credited Montclair State’s success to its top leadership who recognized the importance of improving retention and graduation rates, and made making improvements in those areas a primary University objective. Stating that the strong network of support services and programs for students, as well as the efforts to improve student success both in and out of the classroom were central to the University’s success, the report gave Montclair State high marks in all areas.

“Top Gainers,” and “Top Gap Closers,” were compiled from data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and College Results Online, a Web-based tool developed by The Education Trust. Both reports are available online at The Education Trust Web site.