Partnership to Boost Number of African American MBAs

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and deans of the 36 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) business schools announced their partnership agreement on June 5 to better prepare African American students for both the GMAT exam and success in graduate management education.

President and CEO David A. Wilson, in his keynote address at the annual HBCU Deans Roundtable Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, noted significant increases in African American students taking the GMAT exam. He praised the business schools for their effort and noted that the number of African American test takers has doubled in the past decade, with a 26 percent increase in just the past four years.

At the same time, Wilson noted, “The time has come for us to work together to increase the accessibility of the exam for African American students and to help you better prepare students for the test.” Although many students do very well, Wilson said, the mean score is still 100 points below the mean score for all test takers.

“We can work together to make a change,” he added.”Diverse candidates bring great value to schools and, ultimately, to the corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that hire them.”

“We look to the HBCUs to help us achieve the diversity in our program that benefits all of our graduate students,” said Melvin T. Stith, dean, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University.

Wilson also announced a cross-country tour of the GMAT Mobile Testing Center to HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions from October 2009 to May 2010. The 32-school bus tour will reach all U.S. based four-year HBCU and HSI members that are at least 40 miles from the nearest GMAT test center, thus further enhancing student accessibility.

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