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Palm Beach State College responds to college race gap

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Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 15:48:20-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — When it comes to college graduation rates new data shows double-digit disparities based on race. And now Palm Beach State College has a new plan to tackle the gap.

Elliott Tyndale is like 76% of students at Palm Beach State College juggling work and school.

“This place does have a reputation – very high,” said Tyndale, a second-year student. “I would like to work in a hospital eventually with my nursing degree as a registered nurse. I’m already an EMT-paramedic.”

But this is where the similarities end and disparities widen for black male students like Tyndale. According to the latest numbers from the college, the graduation rate for black students is 38.6%, 41% for Hispanic students and 43.9% for white students.

Double-digit inequities exist for black male students, whose graduation rate is 29.3% and 41% for both Hispanic and white students. The graduation rate for black females is 44.4%, 40.9% for Hispanic females and 47.5% for white females.

“The [Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Cross-Cultural Equity] Institute will concentrate on really unpacking those numbers,” said Ava L. Parker, Palm Beach State College president. “The whole goal of the institute is to use data-driven research to determine overall best practices in dealing with different sectors within our community.”

Practices will include academic advising, peer mentoring, personal counseling and more one-on-one tailored support.

The institute is expected to open in March on the second floor of the library. It’s thanks to a philanthropic donation by Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler of Boynton Beach, former assistant superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and a former Miami-Dade County commissioner.

“It’s about people helping you climb that ladder,” said Shuler. “And seeing role models at that level.”

The PBSC Foundation has also established scholarship dollars that will be in Carey-Shuler’s name for the students who will be helped through the institute.

”It’s a thing where the community is what we have to build,” added Tyndale.

To learn more about the Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Cross-Cultural Equity Institute, click here.