AIHEC Allies with Other Minority Consortia

Nov 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 11-2: Teacher Education, Tribal College News

A new alliance representing the higher education needs of the largest minority groups nationwide has called for urgent and expanded support for the nation’s “seriously underfunded” minority-serving colleges and students. The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education represents 321 colleges and universities that educate one-third of all African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students nationwide, some 1.6 million students.

In the first coordinated effort of its kind, the new Alliance for Equity in Higher Education will promote the interests of the 31 tribal colleges and universities in the American Indian Higher Education Consortium as well as the interests of 175 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and 118 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other predominantly Black institutions, among others. Combined, these colleges educate 42 percent of all Hispanic students, 24 percent of African American students, and 16 percent of American Indian students.

These institutions provide greater access to low-income and underserved populations and have higher student success rates than mainstream colleges, despite underfunding, according to the alliance. Alliance member colleges awarded almost 188,000 degrees in 1996 yet alliance member colleges receive 36 percent less revenue per student than other U.S. colleges. Meanwhile enrollments of people of color in higher education are projected to soar: by 2015, Hispanic student enrollments will jump by 73 percent, and African American enrollments will increase by 20 percent, while enrollments of white students will rise by only 5 percent.

The alliance is comprised of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. The alliance is coordinated by The Institute for Higher Education Policy, a Washington, DC-based non-profit education group. In the next several months and years, the alliance will: work on common public policy goals. It will address student financial assistance, fair admission standards; teacher preparation, faculty development, and institutional infrastructures. Several reports and studies will be released by the alliance in the coming year. The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education has received start-up funding from the W.K. Foundation, which also supports alliance member institutions through targeted grant programs for Tribal Colleges, HSIs, and HBCUs.

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