Students grow less interested in promoting racial understanding over course of college education, study finds

April 10, 2012

New US research suggests that as undergraduate students progress through PSE, they become less interested, on average, of promoting racial understanding. For the study, students were asked "how important to you personally is helping to promote racial understanding?" upon arriving at college, at the end of their first year, and at the end of their senior year. Researchers ranked the importance of promoting racial understanding on a 4-point scale, and found that all 4 groups -- African American, Hispanics, Asians, and whites -- ended up at a lower point than where they started. The study's authors say the results challenge the conventional wisdom about college and race: the data suggest that for students, PSE has no impact on a desire to promote racial understanding, and that those who change do so in the direction of being less committed to intergroup understanding. Inside Higher Ed