Closing the Gap: An Overview of the Literature on College Persistence and Underrepresented Populations

The Cowen Institute is releasing a report entitled Closing the Gap: An Overview of the Literature on College Persistence and Underrepresented Populations. This review is the first in a series of three publications exploring college persistence among underrepresented populations. As the first report, this serves as a jumping off point to the topic, providing a broad overview of key statistics along with a list of widely documented barriers to persistence and existing interventions to improve persistence using national data and existing literature. It identifies barriers to college degree attainment, highlights empirically tested strategies and interventions to improve persistence, and provides an overview of potential next steps for educators, practitioners, and researchers.

As our work at the Cowen Institute focuses on improving outcomes for young people in New Orleans, the review will focus on efforts to improve persistence among key groups of students representative of those in the city’s public education system: particularly first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color. This review is meant to be used as a jumping off point, allowing readers to gather information on existing data points, research, and strategies to help inform and guide further work in the area.

You can access the full report here.