As I shared in my introductory blog, I am a second-year master’s student in the Higher Education program. I am pursuing the functional area that was essentially not created for me and many of us in the class. The higher education system in the United States has excluded minority groups in some ways since its creation. The education system was built on the idea of educating rich white men. However, over the years that has changed, and more diverse groups have been granted access to higher education.
While access to higher education has improved for minority groups over the years, it is nowhere near being perfect. Many institutions lack in diversity due to issues surrounding access. A 2013 report from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) stated that from their study of 77 major sports programs, they found that only 2.8 percent of the undergraduate male students were Black, however, they represented 57.1% of the football players and 64.3% of the basketball players. These statistics indicated that if you were a black male athlete playing football or basketball, you had much higher chances of attending elite institutions than black males (non-athletes) who solely wanted to attend elite institutions for their academics. “Higher education in this country must see value in young black men beyond the court or playing field.” (Dr. Marcus Bright).
UPenn study only focused on black male athletes, however, this shed a light on the lack of accessibility for underrepresented and underserved minority groups to higher education. There are many barriers created by the dominant group that has limited access to higher education for minority groups. We must work together to remove those barriers as it has a direct impact on our country’s economic future but more importantly, the economic future of predominately minority communities because most of the new jobs and careers require post-secondary education.