PART-TIME STUDENTS' ACHIEVEMENT GAP WOES.

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The success of part-time students is key to reducing the 20-plus percentage point achievement gaps that persist between white student outcomes and black and Hispanic student outcomes, according to a report from the Education Advisory Board, Dallas, Texas. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to attend community colleges part time, a known risk factor, and that going part time is more likely to affect their ability to graduate negatively.

Some 84% of Hispanic pupils and 81% of black students enroll part time for at least one term, compared to 72% of whites. The analysis further outlines how, for Hispanics, attending college part time--even for only one semester--means a 39% drop in completion rates compared to full-time attendance. For whites, however, the switch from full time to part-time status results in a 29% decline in completion rates.

"Underrepresented minority students are more likely to be first-generation college students and face challenges that prevent them from attending full-time: financial pressures, family demands, or the lack of a support system," says Christina Hubbard, director of Strategic Research at EAB. "Going to...

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