The Birmingham News
Officials at Miles College have disputed an Associated Press report in Sunday's Birmingham News about the graduation rate of black students, and they are supported by an independent association of private colleges.
The six-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students who enrolled at the Fairfield college in 2001 was 52 percent, said Paul Hankins, president of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. The AP report, which said the graduation rate was 11 percent, relied on erroneous data in a U.S. Department of Education database, Miles officials said. The AP report found that many historically black colleges graduate black students at a rate lower than colleges in general.
Previous published reports and independent analyses consistently have placed Miles' graduation rate at more than 50 percent. Ricky Lee, Miles' director of college relations, said the methodology behind some analyses varies widely. Some include part-time and non-traditional students, and others do not, for example.
The most recent report by The Education Trust, a nonprofit, placed Miles' 2006 rate at 50 percent, highest among historically black colleges in Alabama and third-highest among all schools in the state for black students.
In 2007, Miles remained among the highest-ranked for percentage of first-time, full-time students graduating within six years, Hankins said.
"Miles is probably the best," he said.
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- ▼ April (21)