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Minorities Going Online Getting What They Need to Succeed

Date: Apr 03, 2013
Minorities Going Online Getting What They Need to Succeed


Once considered a questionable alternative online education offers a color-blind alternative for students from all backgrounds.

It’s not a stretch assuming our institutions of higher education may not be an exact reflection of the demographic transition currently underway in America.

Some of our research supports the contention that since many universities have homogenous environments that cultural divides may exist between minority students and their institutions of higher learning. That could be predicated on the fact that most university models were based on Western European universities from the late seventeenth century.

Vincent Tinto author of Tinto’s Theory (1993) clearly indicated that students   feeling isolated were certainly more likely to terminate their college careers than students that felt a connection and comfortable in their college environments. One could conclude that minority students might be somewhat vulnerable to feeling isolated from the majority culture on many campuses.

Online education is one option that eliminates or substantially reduces this challenge. Experienced educators teaching in on-line environments have indicated that online colleges and universities can minimize the cultural divide between academe and students from diverse cultures. Actually the Internet can become   it’s own cultural norm for students representing an assortment of cultures from a very large geographic snapshot. It’s safe to assume that each unique ethnic group impacts the online learning environment. Think about it. Students don’t leave their homes or communities to get an education, they don’t have to “reset” their cultural norms and they can freely engage through writing, reading and discussion while sharing best practices.

In a traditional higher education environment the dominant culture could impact a minority student’s decision to stay and complete their education. The Online option presents a social process enabling students and faculty to connect despite cultural barriers. Students come and learn individually leaving the pressure of peer group norms behind.

While online education continues to gain “credibility momentum” a stigma remains comparing them to mail order degrees. Reality is some of the best academic work emanates from online institutions, in particular doctoral studies, in the form of dissertations.

The relationships created on the web often extend into offline life. The web won’t displace natural communities, it will simply extend them. Online relationships are assilimilated into everyday life. The potential impact for access to and participation of minorities in higher education through the online environment is very promising. It’s an option that offers an alternative to eliminate racial inequalities in higher education. As it continues to grow and leave behind the old perceptions; the long-term impact will be very positive for generations to come.

By Wayne Kinch, Senior Consultant, Global Markets, Ethnic Technologies, LLC



Minorities and Online Education

K. Brock Enger

Education Quarterly

May 2007

V Tinto,

Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition

J. Dewey

Democracy and Education

J. Feng, J. Lazar and J. Preece

“Empathy and Online Interpersonal Trust”

Ethnic Technologies, LLC – Multicultural Insight

Ethnic Technologies, LLC is the platinum standard in multicultural marketing. The result of over 40 years of continuous ethnic, religious and language preference research, E-Tech allows clients to segment their database by ethnicity, religion, language preference and country of origin more accurately and comprehensively than any other approach.

E-Tech uses unique linguistic and onomastic rules for identifying multicultural consumer segments. After coding their specific names, E-Tech does a neighborhood analysis using multi-sourced information compiled from our analytics team.  The application of Enhanced Neighborhood Analytics (ENA) technology in E-Tech Version 8.1 establishes a new and unprecedented level of granularity in multicultural marketing. The end result of this robust analysis is the most comprehensive and accurate ethnic data enhancement product on the market.

Clients can also benefit from acquiring ethnic mailing, telemarketing and email lists covering both the US and Canada.  E-Tech’s Analytics Group offers ethnic data appending (enhancement) and demographic mapping providing marketers and advertisers with an overview of current customer penetration in existing markets and business potential in new markets.

Contact Karen Sinisi, Sales Director at 866-333-8324 ext. 117 or

E-Tech ® and The EthniCenter ® are registered trademarks of Ethnic Technologies, LLC
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Lisa Skriloff, Editor & President

Multicultural Marketing News

Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.

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