Black college enrollment in Illinois down by 30 percent in 2018, study finds

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Black college enrollment down 29% from 2013 to 2018
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Black college enrollment dropped nearly 30% between the years of 2013 and 2018.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education found that Black college enrollment decreased by nearly a third in 2018, a problem that creates a ripple effect.

According to their report, the IBHE found enrollment of African American students was down 29% between 2013 and 2018.

"We have to be even more intentional about our strategies for engaging and supporting our minority communities," said Chicago State University President Z. Scott.

"The action plan recognizes racial tensions on campus and, beyond that, create further stress and help create strategies for inclusion and supporting student wellbeing," said John Atkinson, managing director of Willis Towers Watson.

Members of the Equality Working Group said this problem isn't just about students, or their families, or even their communities; it ripples all the way up in to a problem for corporate America.

"If we don't take time to stop and partner with historically black colleges and universities, and Chicago State and other universities, to be able to develop that talent, some companies at the end of the day will be defunct," said Tyronne Stoudemire, global VP for diversity and inclusion for Hyatt Corporation.

Jonathan Banks recently graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago where he said mentoring and tutoring programs offered unique support to students of color.

"I've seen students who were struggling and turn to student tutors receive education, academic help, as well as the social-emotional support," Banks said. "Sometimes we just need a space to belong."

Chicago State University plans to open a center devoted to research on what will help African American students succeed.