Community colleges educate almost half of all college students in the country. And a new report by University of Pennsylvania researchers finds these institutions play an oversized role in educating blacks, Latinos and Asian-Americans.
Twenty-two percent of the country's 1,100 community colleges serve mostly racial and ethnic minorities.
And those those under-resourced schools, known as minority-serving institutions, serve more than half of minority college students, said Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions.
"One of the things we tried to do was elevate the role of minority-serving institutions, which get almost no attention," she said. "We wanted people to understand their contributions, where they are in the country, what kind of students they're serving, and how they're meeting workforce needs."