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JFF VP Michael Collins in ‘Report: Number of Black Students in Community College IT Programs Remains a Concern’

JFF VP Michael Collins in ‘Report: Number of Black Students in Community College IT Programs Remains a Concern’

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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November 8, 2023

At A Glance

Jobs for the Future’s Michael Collins and Lois Joy were quoted in a recent Diverse Issues in Higher Education article about a new report from JFF’s Center for Racial Economic Equity titled “Black Learners in IT Associate’s Degree and Credential College Programs.”
The article noted that the Center’s research found that the number of students enrolled in community college programs that lead to an associate’s degree or credential in IT is extremely low. For example, each year from 2017 to 2021, 180,000 students were enrolled in IT programs nationwide each year, but only 24,000 to 25,000 were Black.
The low enrollment rates are evidence of structural barriers that limit Black students’ access to education and exacerbate occupational racism, said Collins, a JFF vice president who leads the Center for Racial Economic Equity.

Too many Black [postsecondary students] end up being in programs that are not aligned to labor market opportunity.

Michael Collins, Vice President, JFF
Joy, a JFF research director who was lead author of the report, said that while community colleges offer educational opportunities that can be on-ramps to promising careers, they “often lack resources to really do the job they’re being asked to do, which is to connect people into these opportunities.”