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University of Akron is Working to Close Graduation Gap Between Black and White Students

photo of Matthew Wilson, University of Akron
University of Akron President Matt Wilson says the school is aware of the graduation gap between black and white students and is working to close it.

The University of Akron, Youngstown State and the University of Toledo all rate poorly in a national study of graduation rates for black students. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports the study was conducted by  The Education Trust, which works to eliminate achievement gaps.

Of the 676 colleges and universities studied, the average graduation gap between black and white students was 22 percent. For the three Ohio universities, the average was about 30 percent. University of Akron President Matt Wilson says he’s aware of the gap, and since taking the position last year has been working to find ways to close it, including college preparedness programs for elementary through high school students.   

“We’ve created a whole host of programing for high school students. One example is our Black Male Summit Academy that invites black males to campus a couple times throughout the year, exposes them to the college experience, really gets them ready, helps them anticipate what to expect and really attack the college experience.”

Wilson says he is also looking at ways to improve financial aid programs, and to create more year-around programing for minority students.