Racial tensions and culture wars on many college campuses have often led some to propose that colleges add ethnic studies, while others have challenged the existence of these courses. Meanwhile, the data show that students in these classes at one university have improved or better outcomes than their peers.
New data from an evaluation of San Francisco State University's ethnic studies courses found that by passing just one class, students improved their overall performance across the campus.
The data compiled by the college's Division of Institutional Analytics found that ethnic studies majors in general graduate at a rate about 20 percentage points higher than non-ethnic studies majors. In 2010, ethnic studies majors had a six-year graduation rate of 77.3 percent, compared to a rate of 52.3 percent for nonmajors. SF State is unique in having the country's first and only freestanding college in ethnic studies.
|6-Year Graduation Rates: Ethnic Studies vs. Non-Ethnic Studies Majors|
The study also showed that students who enrolled in at least one ethnic studies class graduated at a higher rate than students who took no ethnic studies classes.
|Six-year graduation rate by Ethnic Studies classes for non-Ethnic Studies majors, Students who enrolled but did not pass any Ethnic Studies classes graduated 20 percent lower than students who passed.|