Lessons for Engaging and Retaining BIPOC Students
How do we attract historically underrepresented groups of students to our institutions—that is, first-generation college students; Black, Indigenous, and other students of color; and students from low-income backgrounds? How do we best serve them at our institutions? How do we retain them and support them to persist and graduate? Academia, or rather the postsecondary education sector at large, has long been asking itself these questions, and we have been asking them because the data are crystal clear: while BIPOC students are overrepresented as the first in their families to go to college, first-generation college students are twice as likely to withdraw from their postsecondary education in the first two years of matriculation than their non-first-generation counterparts (Cataldi et al., 2018; Center for First-Generation Student Success, n.d.). For every 100 students that are first-generation and from low-income backgrounds, current data indicates that only 10 will graduate within six years (EAB, 2019).