Cal State’s Black students are falling behind other groups — and poor graduation data obscures the crisis

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

At the close of the first-ever California State University Juneteenth Symposium last month, the system’s top executive laid out an agenda for improving the Black student experience at the nation’s largest public university system. The first item on Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester’s list? “We need to disaggregate the data,” she said. Huh? That might sound dry, but there’s a good reason why it’s top of mind: Cal State’s struggle to graduate its Black students often goes unmentioned in the system’s public reporting about graduation rates. Combined, the system’s 23 campuses graduate just half of Black students who enter as freshmen over a six-year period — well below the overall six-year average of 63%, according to the latest system data from 2021.

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