Moraine Valley Community College decided to drop its segregated course offerings for African-Americans, but not before defending their policy using the "separate but equal" standard and claiming it helped to improve retention rates. It "will continue to offer sections of its College 101 course for the success of special populations, it will no longer offer sections of this course for specific racial groups," said Normah Salleh-Barone, the college's vice president for student development.

Margaret Lehner, the college's vice president for institutional advancement, not only defended the policy, but called out others who disagreed.

"Because a few people object to it should not be a deciding factor in limiting these opportunities for at-risk students," she told Inside Higher Ed. "We certainly are not hampering other students also being successful. We have the same courses available to them as well."

The course offerings were first reported on by The Chicago Tribune, when it was discovered that the one-credit, fall semester course, "College: Changes, Challenges, Choice" had a note that said registration for some sections was "limited to African-American students."

According to the catalog description, the course "provides an opportunity to assess your purpose for college, assess your study strategies, set college and career goals, examine your values and decision-making skills, and develop an appreciation for diversity."

In defending the course sections, the college revealed that they have separated other classes for veterans, older students, Hispanics, women, and those with special needs.

"Students feel comfortable and are more likely to open up because they're with other students who are like them," said Jessica Crotty, the college's assistant director of communications."

The college justifies their plan through research, which says college-readiness courses improve retention and graduation rates, especially when students are more likely to achieve success through interventions and peer support. When it comes to reducing inequality, however, researchers say that these efforts can actually impede their goals.

In their reporting, The Daily Caller suggested that the segregated course offerings were illegal under federal Title VI laws. University of Houston President Michael Olivas told Inside Higher Ed that the policy was "ill-advised [and] arguably subject to legal challenge."

News about the college comes days after Concordia College suggested "students of color" attend a special orientation.