some of us are brave
I believe Diverse Issues of Higher Education has produced it’s annual “Top 100 Degree Producers of [insert ethnic/racial minority]” since the 1990s. The publication used to be called Black Issues in Higher Education and the earliest citation I can find in ERIC is 1994. It may predate archiving. If anyone knows that history exactly I’d be happy for it.
Anyway, it’s that time of year when the Top 100 aggregates federal data on what institutions produce degree holders by ethnicity. You can search that data by institution, field and the standard Census categories for race/ethnicity.
In the olden days, the editors used to write really solid essays to contextualize emerging trends in the data. By 2001, you see for-profit colleges emerge on the list and then rapidly ascend, from associates’ degree conferrals to doctoral almost in perfect sequence.
This year’s list continues to show strong showings from for-profit colleges. The University of Phoenix is the number one producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees:
The University of Phoenix also number one in conferral of masters degrees:
Capella University tops out producer of black doctoral degrees (which includes PhDs but also other professional doctoral degrees):
A recent academic article positioned for-profit colleges as singular points of expanded black participation in higher education. As is often the case, as the conflict theorist sociologist with a keen interest in class reproduction, I ask: expanded black participation in what higher education and to what ends?
There are a lot of reasons black students find themselves in for-profit colleges and its not all attributed to them being stupid or bamboozled. There are a lot of ideological and structural factors at work. Forthcoming work from a book project I have been editing includes some finer grained analysis of race and gender in these trend statistics from Sandy Darity and Rhonda Sharpe.
That’s a lot of black people getting a lot of really expensive degrees. I suppose that is democratization of a sort. It just may not be the kind of democratization I’m into.