Progression and Success of African American Students

After four months of research and deliberation, our Task Force submits the following report, including 30 recommendations (in bold below) that we feel will improve the likelihood of success for African American students at UIC. Some of these recommendations are straightforward and can be implemented immediately. Others will require a more detailed implementation plan and timetable. The recommendations are grouped into four categories: academics, campus climate, student services, and financial needs and policies. Some of the highlights of our recommendations include: a special committee to address gateway courses that have a low rate of success for African American students; diversity in the classroom training for all instructional staff; a process to assess and better coordinate services geared toward African American students at UIC; create more visible public programs and community partnerships related to African American culture, history and concerns and inclusive of students and faculty; a more flexible housing policy; more extended tuition payment plans; and a special African American student scholarship initiative.

While the Task Force did not directly take up the issue of African American student enrollment, we agreed that recruitment, admission and enrollment numbers are incredibly important, and intimately related to African American student progress and success. Therefore, we applaud the ongoing efforts of the Office of Enrollment Management to recruit, admit and enroll larger numbers of African American students, and support the Faculty Senate endorsed ACCESS proposal (Appendix B). This program should be evaluated two years following implementation to ascertain if it is having the intended impact.