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ECU recognized for graduation rates among African-American students

East Carolina University has been praised for graduating black students at rates similar to their white counterparts, defying a national achievement gap.

A report from Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that works to close achievement gaps, in August recognized ECU and two other universities in the UNC System, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Greensboro, as “leaders” in graduating African-American students.

“The success of these institutions is due partly to consistent and strong leadership from the UNC system, which has worked for the past decade to increase the number of North Carolinians — particularly minority students — with college degrees,” wrote the report’s authors, Mamie Lynch and Jennifer Engle.

Among African-American ECU students, 56.2 percent graduate, while 55.4 percent of white students do.

Nationally, African-American students earn bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions at rates nearly 20 points below those of their white peers, according to the report.

Education Trust analyzed federal data for 293 public and 163 private colleges. Rates cited are three-year averages, based on statistics for 2006 through 2008. For-profit and historically black institutions were not examined.

This is the second time Education Trust has cited ECU’s success in graduating African-American students. In 2004, the organization noted that ECU’s graduation rate among black students was almost double the rate of similar universities.

To see the report, visit www.edtrust.org.

This story appeared originally in the Sept. 24, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/poe/2010/910/September-2010-Archives.cfm.