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ERIC Number: EJ883926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1068-1027
Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities
Bowen, William G.; Chingos, Matthew M.; McPherson, Michael S.
Trusteeship, v17 n6 p24-29 Nov-Dec 2009
A study of 21 flagship public universities and four entire state systems (in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia), conducted by the authors, demonstrates that if this country is to regain its leadership in higher education, it must fix two interwoven problems: (1) the stagnant level of overall educational attainment, as measured by baccalaureate completion rates that hover around 30 percent; and (2) the huge disparities in educational outcomes associated with socioeconomic status (SES) and race and ethnicity. It is evident that to raise the overall educational attainment rate--a key objective of the Obama administration and one that is widely shared across society--it is important to find ways to bridge the disparities in educational outcomes associated with socioeconomic status and race and ethnicity. As the authors review several of the main lessons from their extensive study, they pay special attention to the key role universities and their leaders can play. Many other reforms and changes at public universities have the potential to raise graduation rates. The authors suggest that an important step for boards and administrators of universities and state systems is to make deliberate efforts to try promising ideas and--crucially--to assess the results of their attempts and share the findings (whether they succeed or fail). The more general need is for universities to keep a focus on the problem of improving graduation rates. (Contains 5 figures.)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; North Carolina; Ohio; Virginia