[245] Development

[245] Development

Whenever there is a discussion of increasing student diversity in Christian colleges you will hear this retort:  We could get more [you can fill in the blank here] but they are too far below the academic standards of our school to succeed.

There are two responses to this not-very-intelligent objection.  First, how hard is the school trying to get “qualified” minority students?  And while we are at it, how hospitable is the school to such students?  How “at home” will they feel?  Why should they want to come to the school?  For many such students, they are trading off a supposedly Christian education for an atmosphere—at the state university—in which they feel more welcome.

But let’s yield the point on the foregoing and focus on those “academically deficient” minority students.  There are two types of academically limited students.  There are those that do not have the intellectual capacities to succeed.  There are students of all colors in this group.  There are also those who are intellectually capable, but who—owing to the high schools they attended–have not had an adequate preparation to succeed in an academically demanding environment.  There are so many “Homeless to Harvard” stories out there that there should be no dispute as to the existence of this second group.

Why aren’t Christian colleges pursuing these students with an eye toward developing their academic potential?  There are myriad developmental programs available.  They began to appear in the 1970’s and have proliferated ever since.  In our electronic world there is unlimited access to them.  You don’t have to have a very good success rate for these developmental programs to pay for themselves.

If our Christian colleges truly value people of all races, and wish to develop disciples– body, mind, and spirit, they need to get past superficial barriers and engage the task aggressively.

DC

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