Voices and Viewpoints

Harry S Truman College’s Multipronged Approach to Improving Retention and Completion Among Males of Color

by Heather L. Fox / Sep 22, 2016

Through data collection and analysis, Harry S Truman College (Truman) found equity gaps for Black and Latino males in their cosmetology program. Black and Latino males were not persisting or completing at rates comparable to their White or female counterparts. Truman identified two contributing factors that impacted completion for the males of color in their program. The first factor was identified through an analysis of COMPASS reading assessment scores. This analysis revealed reading supports could be important in supporting students’ academic success. Second, they learned through a survey of males of color that male students were interested in barbering. To address these factors Truman implemented new integrated and proactive reading supports and incorporated barbering-specific content into the programs curriculum. Truman’s reading interventions include pre- and post-course assessments, integrated reading center supports, and reading tutoring supports.

Truman was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Truman's PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. Truman is an exemplar in translating critical data analysis into actionable transformative changes that improve equity and outcomes for their students. The work being done at Truman may inspire you in ways that support students of color at your institution. Read Edmund Graham’s, Ready and Interested: Harry S Truman College’s Multipronged Approach to Improving Retention and Completion Among Males of Color to learn more.

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