While Moraine Valley Community College still plans to offer sections of its College 101 course for specific populations, it will no longer be available only to specific racial groups.
In the past, MVCC, located about 25 miles from Chicago in Palos Hills, has offered such courses to athletes, special needs students and other groups that it was felt might benefit from such an offering. Research has shown such courses can be particularly effective for low-income and first-generation college students and due to the considerably lower retention and completion rates among African-American students, a course specifically for that demographic was planned. However, the college has reversed course on their plan for such an offering, perhaps due to backlash from the community regarding singling out a specific race to which they would offer a course section. While research may support the action, the offering of a course to a specific race, thereby excluding other races from taking the course might appear discriminatory, irrespective of the good intentions employed by those planning the course and determining to whom it should be offered.
What do you think? Is it acceptable for a school to offer courses to specific races? Genders? Was MVCC right to reverse their decision to offer the course to only African-American students?