Boston College:
Retaining Educationally Disadvantaged Minority Students on a Predominantly White Campus
Student Support Services students (Title IV, first-generation, educationally disadvantaged, primarily minority) were enrolled in a 3-credit LTL course. Three semesters after completing LTL, 100% of these students were still at BC and performing well academically. These results are striking at BC, a private, Jesuit institution. At the time this study was conducted, BC was 90% Caucasian, with normally admitted students' SAT's at 1060, the majority of students being second-generation college students.
Boston College Students
% Minority
Combined SAT
GPA
Retention at BC
LTL Students 3 Semesters After Completing LTL
75%
812
2.58
100%
Normal-admit, Non-LTL Students After 3 Semesters
10%
1060
3.00
80%
The LTL students, while significantly more disadvantaged than normally-admitted Boston College students, performed nearly as well academically and their retention was significantly higher: Retention for the non-LTL students, who were normally-admitted, predominantly white, second-generation college students, was 80%.
A six-year follow-up study showed that Student Support Services students taking LTL at Boston College had a 98% retention rate through graduation, while the normally-admitted BC students maintained an 80% retention rate.
The success extends beyond those six years.
LTL has been offered to Student Support Services students at Boston College since 1982. A recent review shows that 98% of these students – first-generation, high-poverty, primarily minority college students – have graduated from BC.
Reference: U.S. Dept. of Education's "Educational Programs That Work", 1996