LaGrange College’s graduation rates for black students have earned the school a spot near the top of a national list.
The college placed sixth in the nation for improvement in graduation rates among all private institutions, according to the Education Trust, a Washington-based think-tank that focuses on racial and ethnic achievement gaps. It was the only Georgia school ranked in the top 25.
LaGrange came in at number eight for diminishing the gap between black graduation rates and those same numbers for the rest of the student population.
Released Thursday, the study looked at graduation rates between 2004 and 2010. The numbers for 2010 showed that 19.9 percent of LaGrange’s undergraduate class was composed of black students, and that their graduation rate improved by 21.3 percentage points.
The gap between white and black graduation rates narrowed to 4.4 percentage points in 2010.
Provost David Garrison said he is especially pleased with the recognition.
“The primary reason for this particular success has to do not with special efforts aimed at African-American students but with the institution’s commitment to strong relationships with all students,” he said. “We are determined to create a supportive learning environment of allegiance to each student, an environment that leads to transforming the lives of our students and the communities in which we live.”
The college has been recognized in the past for its personal attention to students characterized by a low student-faculty ratio and its small class sizes (an average of 12). The Education Trust promotes and supports policies that raise student achievement, close achievement gaps and ensure all students can succeed.
For more about the study, visit www.edtrust.org