Raising Graduation Rates While Maintaining Racial-Ethnic Equity in Graduation: The UC Riverside Recipe by Steven Brint CSHE 9.21 (September 2021)


The University of California, Riverside has raised its four- and six-year graduation rates significantly over the last decade while maintaining near-equity in graduation rates among the four major racial-ethnic groups and across socio-economic strata.  The paper discusses campus policies and practices that have helped to produce these results. The campus has contributed to nearly equal graduation outcomes by maintaining strong network ties with parents in minority communities, by offering high levels of academic support and research opportunities to students from under-represented groups, by recruiting faculty and staff who are dedicated to the social mobility mission of the campus, by simplifying bureaucratic procedures, and by a consistent message emphasizing the values of diversity and inclusion. The campus has been able to raise graduation rates among all groups by guaranteeing 15 units of credit each quarter, by leveraging summer to provide courses students need, by improving pre-calculus math instruction, by hiring transition advisors to help students who were struggling in the science colleges, and by aggressively promoting a “finish-in-four” campaign. A coordinated and committed campus effort is necessary to achieve these results.

Steven Brint
Publication date: 
September 22, 2021
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)