Women Lead in UC and CSU Graduation Rates

Women Lead in UC and CSU Graduation Rates

A recent report announced a reversal in trends as women outperform men in enrollment and graduation

Women are now outperforming their male counterparts in preparedness for college and in rates of enrollment and graduation, according to a recent report released by the Campaign for College Opportunity. The report, titled “The State of Higher Education in California: The Gender and Racial Gap Analysis,” announced that the reversal in trend is now true for women from all ethnic groups.

Despite the improvement in the rate of women attending college, the dwindling rate of young men’s enrollment in college is worrisome to Solano Community College President Jowel Laguerre, who has been following the reports for almost two decades.

“It is a disturbing trend,” Laguerre said in a Dec. 27 article in the Vallejo Times Herald. “We want for as many women to go to college; but we also need young men to do the same.”

In the report, the Campaign for College Opportunity’s data shows that the gender education gap usually begins in high school with a greater number of women taking courses to meet requirements for college enrollment than men. In college, the gap becomes more defined as students approach graduation.

For example, the report shows that women graduate from the California State University system at an average of five to eight percent higher than males while in the University of California system, women graduate at an average of six percent higher than their male counterparts.

The report also found that education gaps by race persist. Although women in African American and Latino ethnic groups outpace their male counterparts, they still trail behind other ethnic groups. For instance, the report cites that 61 percent of white females graduate from the CSU system within six years but only 38 percent of African American women and 47 percent of Latino women do.

The performance differences among ethnic groups and gender is recognized as a challenging obstacle facing higher education today. As the research and policy analyst for Campaign for College Opportunity, Nadia Valliani is in charge of preparing the report and understands the importance of raising public awareness through the report she helped release.

“We produce reports and then we send these reports and infographics to different staffers and legislators so they’re aware of the issue,” Valliani said. “We also promote in the media so people are aware that there is this gap.”

Executive Director of the Campaign for College Opportunity Michele Siqueiros hopes that the report will spur Californians to action.

“The figures make clear that California must address the growing inequality in college enrollment and degree completion,” Siqueiros told the Vallejo Times Herald. “This is not just a problem for men, or blacks or Latinos; this imbalance affects all Californians. We all benefit when all of our young people have access to a college education and the tools to succeed and graduate.”

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