Report Highlights Importance Of Middle School MathMCLEAN, Va.
African American children, regardless of household income, are not exposed to the same challenging algebra classes in eighth grade as their White counterparts, and therefore, are less likely to go to college, according to a new report released by the Diversity Pipeline Alliance (DPA).
The report, “Improving Minority Participation in Business,” highlights greater challenges on the horizon. The predicted changes in the United States population, according to the 2000 census, show the minority population growing from 23 percent today to 38 percent in 2050. At the same time, the Caucasian population is predicted to decrease from 77 percent to 62 percent. As the African American population grows, businesses and corporations will require a work force that reflects their customer base. However, if today’s trends in education continue, that level of diversity will not be possible, according to the report.
“The business world and colleges and universities may be thinking that as the underrepresented minority populations in the country increase, so will their representation in their institutions,” says Karen Johns, executive director of the DPA. “Unfortunately, that is not the reality because we are not feeding the educational pipeline with an increasing number of students prepared for the challenges of the business world.
“A student’s path in middle school can shape his or her course in high school, which affects success in college and thereby determines a career path. As we look at African Americans in the workplace, our gaze is necessarily directed back to their formative academic experiences in middle school, high school and college, where the track to their future success is first laid down,” Johns says.
The report however did find that the popularity of the MBA is increasing with minorities faster than any other master’s degree. And with an increase in MBAs, there is a promising trend for an increase in Ph.D.s with a growing number of minority professors serving as important role models and mentors to business-minded students.
Still underrepresented minorities only comprise 15 percent of all MBAs earned in 2000 even with the increasing numbers within this population, according to the report.
The DPA is comprised of 10 nonprofit member organizations including the National Black MBA Association, all devoted to helping underrepresented minorities pursue careers in business.
For more information on the report visit <www.diversitypipeline.com>.
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