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The HBCU and PWI Unemployment Study: Are Our Grads in Demand?

Cory Jackson, Dr. Ethell Vereen, Biology Department, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, Ga 30314

The changing demographics in the United States by race, and its impact on the diversity of the future workforce has been well-documented. Less is known about the demographics of college students, and the quality of undergraduate education and student experiences at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in preparing students to enter into the workforce. This study compared HBCUs to Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) using unemployment as a student outcome variable. We collected data on HBCUs and PWIs matched by size using the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. Initially, we sought to determine whether the HBCU and PWI groups were indeed similar to one another. We performed t tests comparing the two types of institutions and found no significant differences in enrollment or cost of attendance. These findings show that the subsamples were similar in institutional characteristics. Institutions in our sample had a mean annual cost of US$30,956 (SD = US$19,794) and a mean enrollment of 5,937 students (SD = 623). We used t tests to test our hypothesis that there was no difference between unemployment rates of HBCU and PWI graduates. Contrary to our hypothesis, HBCUs did not perform on par with PWIs in employment. Previous research demonstrated that although HBCU and comparable PWI students are different in a range of demographic characteristics, once precollege characteristics are controlled, HBCUs show similar or even better student outcomes. HBCUs are extremely beneficial to the American economy at large and promote the socioeconomic mobility of first-generation college students from low-income families. HBCUs play a key role in their students’ economic success by educating and equipping their graduates with the skills needed to thrive as an employee. As a result, the entire country benfits.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Cory Jackson

Institution: Morehouse College

Type: Poster

Subject: Diversity Studies

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4079