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Colleges Exceed Diversity Goals

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday February 17, 1999

The Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education announced today that the state’s public colleges and universities continue to make progress in diversifying their student bodies and professional staffs, and have in fact exceeded the state’s access goal for parity with the state population.

In the early 1980s, the Board launched a concerted effort to ensure that the state’s public colleges and universities served all the state’s citizens. The Board formally adopted a Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education in April 1985 and followed that up later in the year with approval of a Minority Advancement Program (MAP) to implement plan goals. The legislature confirmed these plans in statute and through budgetary address, asking that the Board report annually on the success of this program.

In presenting the Strategic Plan’s 1999 Annual Report to the Board at its February 17th meeting, Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco, commissioner of the Department of Higher Education said: "The Board of Governors, indeed, the entire state should be very proud of the fact that the student bodies and the staffs of our public institutions of higher education reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. I suspect that few, if any, other states as diverse as Connecticut can claim such an accomplishment. But that is but half of the agenda: now that we have achieved parity in access to college, we must turn our attention to achieving parity in graduation patterns as well."

Board Chair, Alice V. Meyer stated that: "It isn’t just the numbers that are important here. Racial and ethnic diversity enriches the educational experience for everyone on campus. Additionally, this type of diversity contributes to societal cohesiveness and expands the economy’s productivity."

Highlights of the public higher education system’s achievements to date include the following: 1999 Annual Report to the Board at its February 17th meeting, Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco, commissioner of the Department of Higher Education said: "The Board of Governors, indeed, the entire state should be very proud of the fact that the student bodies and the staffs of our public institutions of higher education reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. I suspect that few, if any, other states as diverse as Connecticut can claim such an accomplishment. But that is but half of the agenda: now that we have achieved parity in access to college, we must turn our attention to achieving parity in graduation patterns as well."

Board Chair, Alice V. Meyer stated that: "It isn’t just the numbers that are important here. Racial and ethnic diversity enriches the educational experience for everyone on campus. Additionally, this type of diversity contributes to societal cohesiveness and expands the economy’s productivity."

Highlights of the public higher education system’s achievements to date include the following: 1999 Annual Report to the Board at its February 17th meeting, Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco, commissioner of the Department of Higher Education said: "The Board of Governors, indeed, the entire state should be very proud of the fact that the student bodies and the staffs of our public institutions of higher education reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. I suspect that few, if any, other states as diverse as Connecticut can claim such an accomplishment. But that is but half of the agenda: now that we have achieved parity in access to college, we must turn our attention to achieving parity in graduation patterns as well."

Board Chair, Alice V. Meyer stated that: "It isn’t just the numbers that are important here. Racial and ethnic diversity enriches the educational experience for everyone on campus. Additionally, this type of diversity contributes to societal cohesiveness and expands the economy’s productivity."

Highlights of the public higher education system’s achievements to date include the following: 1999 Annual Report to the Board at its February 17th meeting, Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco, commissioner of the Department of Higher Education said: "The Board of Governors, indeed, the entire state should be very proud of the fact that the student bodies and the staffs of our public institutions of higher education reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. I suspect that few, if any, other states as diverse as Connecticut can claim such an accomplishment. But that is but half of the agenda: now that we have achieved parity in access to college, we must turn our attention to achieving parity in graduation patterns as well."

Board Chair, Alice V. Meyer stated that: "It isn’t just the numbers that are important here. Racial and ethnic diversity enriches the educational experience for everyone on campus. Additionally, this type of diversity contributes to societal cohesiveness and expands the economy’s productivity."

Highlights of the public higher education system’s achievements to date include the following: 1999 Annual Report to the Board at its February 17th meeting, Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco, commissioner of the Department of Higher Education said: "The Board of Governors, indeed, the entire state should be very proud of the fact that the student bodies and the staffs of our public institutions of higher education reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s population. I suspect that few, if any, other states as diverse as Connecticut can claim such an accomplishment. But that is but half of the agenda: now that we have achieved parity in access to college, we must turn our attention to achieving parity in graduation patterns as well."

Board Chair, Alice V. Meyer stated that: "It isn’t just the numbers that are important here. Racial and ethnic diversity enriches the educational experience for everyone on campus. Additionally, this type of diversity contributes to societal cohesiveness and expands the economy’s productivity."

Highlights of the public higher education system’s achievements to date include the following:

  • In the aggregate, the proportion of underrepresented minority students enrolled in the state’s public colleges and universities has grown from 8.9 percent in the fall of 1984 to 20.0 percent in the fall of 1998, an increase of 124.7 percent. The level of enrollment for underrepresented minorities at 20.0 percent exceeds their proportion of the state’s general population at 18.9 percent, per the U.S. Census Bureau’s mid-decade projections.

For each of the four minority groups designated by the Board as underrepresented, the change in enrollment from the fall of 1984 to the fall of 1998, is as follows:

Racial/Ethnic Group 1984 1998 Change
African American 5.2% 9.6% 84.6%
Hispanic/Latino 2.2% 6.9% 213.6%
Asian American 1.2% 3.1% 158.3%
Native American 0.4% 0.4% -
  • The proportion of underrepresented minority students receiving undergraduate degrees from the state’s public institutions of higher education has grown from 6.4 percent during the 1984-85 academic year to 13.8 percent during the 1997-98 academic year, an increase of 115.6 percent. The level of degree recipients for underrepresented minorities at 13.8 percent equals 73.0 percent of their proportion of the state’s general population at 18.9 percent.

For each of the four minority groups, change in the reception of undergraduate degrees from the 1984-85 academic year to the 1997-98 academic year, is as follows:

Racial/Ethnic Group 1984-85 1997-98 Change
African American 3.3% 6.3% 90.9%
Hispanic/Latino 1.6% 4.2% 162.5%
Asian American 1.2% 3.0% 150.0%
Native American 0.3% 0.4% 33.3%
  • The representation of underrepresented minority group members among the professional workforce of the public institutions of higher education has grown from 6.8 percent at the end of 1983 to 14.2 percent at the end of 1998, an increase of 108.8 percent. In the aggregate, the number of underrepresented minorities employed as professional equals 99.1 percent of the institutions’ collective numeration of parity, per their affirmative action plans.

For each of the four minority groups, change in their professional employment from the fall of 1983 to the fall of 1998, is as follows:

Racial/Ethnic Group 1983 1998 Change
African American 3.1% 6.2% 100.0%
Hispanic/Latino 1.0% 3.1% 210.0%
Asian American NA 4.6% NA
Native American NA 0.3% NA

(NA = not available)

Thanks to increased state funding, there also has been substantial expansion of the Board’s programmatic initiatives to improve the pipeline of prepared students. At the pre-college level, the number of Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation (ConnCAP) programs sponsored by both public and independent colleges has increased from 12 to 14. With the award of grants to new programs in Bridgeport and the tri-town area of Bloomfield, East Hartford and Windsor, each of the urban areas targeted by the Board will be serviced by intervention programs designed to increase student performance and readiness for college. At the college level, the Board has established a new programmatic initiative - the Connecticut College Admission and Bridge (ConnCAB) Program. This grant program enables institutions of higher education to establish or expand summer bridge programs and student support services to enhance the retention and graduation of underprepared students.

For more information, contact Arthur Poole in the Department of Higher Education Office of Educational Opportunity at (860) 947-1833.

Please reference the full 1999 Report on the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education.


Contact: Connie Fraser
(860)947-1801


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