Albion College and Kalamazoo College are being recognized as leaders in developing minority student enrollment. Capital News Service in Lansing reports both independent colleges have shown strong numbers of enrolling minority students. And it isn’t happening by accident.

Albion College has been making a strong effort to attract minority students.  The news service reports that during the 2013-2014 school year, Albion had 18 percent minority student enrollment. This year, the number jumped to 41%. And for the upcoming school year, Albion will show minority student enrollment at 48%.

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Kelly Finn is the chief of staff to Albion’s president. Finn points to the college working to create an inclusive environment based on curriculum, and financial support. “One of our core values is belonging. We are committed to building a campus where every student feels at home. To do that, we need to go beyond diversity, equity and inclusion to true belonging.”

Kalamazoo College is another independent institution making huge strides to welcome students of color.  The President of Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities says Kalamazoo College might just become the first private college in the state with more than 50% of its enrollment comprised of minority students.

Kalamazoo’s Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students is Sarah Westfall. She tells Capital News that improving minority enrollment has been an objective for the college for more than a decade.

Part of the Kalamazoo College focus developed as college leaders saw many minority students were reaching college age./  Kalamazoo began to focus recruitment in several areas with high minority populations including Texas and Southern California.

Leaders at both colleges agree that recruiting new students is one thing. Retaining them is another. Both are working on a number of programs and outreach efforts to help ensure the new minority students stick with their educational endeavors and thrive.

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