Berea’s Success Graduating African-American Students Highlighted by “Diverse” Magazine

Dr. Linda Strong-LeekLinda Strong Leek, Berea’s vice president for diversity and inclusion and associate vice president for academic affairs, was interviewed for a recent article published by DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education. The article focused a comparison of graduation rates of Black students and their White counterparts, as presented in a report by The Education Trust that identified institutions that are succeeding (or not) in graduating Black students.

The article states that only 41 percent of Black students who start college as first-time, full-time freshmen complete a bachelor’s degree in 6 years, a rate 22 percentage points below their White peers. Berea College excels with respect to its Black student graduation rates, which are slightly higher than the graduation rate of White students. In the newly published article, Dr. Strong-Leek describes the various programs and initiatives Berea has in place to help mentor Black students and support them academically and socially.

While other schools average six-year graduation rates of just 33.6% overall, Berea College has a six-year graduation rate of 61.9% for African American students. To read the full article, visit:

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Diverse Magazine, diversity, Linda Strong Leek, Students

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.