To reverse a decade-long trend of attrition in Black college students, higher education leaders need to structure programs and policies with Black learners in mind, according to the Community for Black Learner Excellence, a new coalition focused on research and policy. The group, which on Wednesday released a report aimed at increasing Black student enrollment and retention, focused on four core tenets: bringing transparency to higher ed costs, offering academic and social supports, creating a sense of shared ownership around Black student success, and establishing teaching practices based on feedback from Black students.

Higher education has lost 600,000 Black students in the past decade, about half of them from community colleges, according to the report. Two-year institutions are especially important for Black learners as they offer more affordable pathways to reliable credentials, the group said.

The coalition aims to get more colleges engaged on Black student success and hold institutions accountable for that success, according to Keith Curry, chair of the group’s expert advisory committee and president of Compton College, in California, a leader in the community college space.

“Our system structures have failed these students. Now it’s time for us to redevelop the system structures in order for them to be successful,” he said on a call with reporters Wednesday.

Among Black Americans, 80% think college is unaffordable, according to the report. And the difference between a college’s sticker price and what students actually pay has only exacerbated confusion around cost. The report recommends that colleges offer transparent pricing structures and only charge what students can afford without going into unmanageable levels of debt.

Read the full article about Black student attrition by Laura Spitalniak at Higher Education Dive.