ACE Study Examines Gender Enrollment, Achievement Gap
While male students of color lag behind their female peers in educational attainment, the widely publicized “crisis” in male college enrollment is really no crisis, according to a report recently released by the American Council on Education.
“Gender Equity in Higher Education: Are Male Students at a Disadvantage?” examines data on the educational achievement of men and women to determine the validity of reports that point to lower enrollment and degree attainment rates among men.
“There is not a generalized educational crisis among men,” says Dr. Jacqueline King, director of ACE’s Center for Policy Analysis and author of the report. “However, there are pockets of real problems. In particular, African American, Hispanic and low-income men lag behind their female peers in terms of educational attainment and are far outpaced by White, Asian American and middle-class men and women.
“There is little evidence to suggest that White, middle class males are falling behind their female peers,” she says.
Men — but largely White and Asian American men — still hold the majority of degrees attained in doctoral and first professional programs.
But the gender gaps among African Americans, American Indians and Hispanics are huge. Two-thirds of African American traditional college-age students are women, the study points out.
“These differences create the gender gap among all traditional-age students,” King says.
One interesting finding of the report: The gender gap either disappears or reverses itself to favor males as income increases.
The exception to that rule: African American males. For these students, there is a substantial gender gap even among upper-income students.
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