Grad­u­a­tion rates among African-​​American stu­dents at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity have increased by 27.4 per­centage points over the last decade, a fact that was high­lighted this week in a report by The Edu­ca­tion Trust.

The Wash­ington, D.C.-based non­profit is ded­i­cated to closing the achieve­ment gap among low-​​income fam­i­lies and minorities.

As high­lighted in the report, North­eastern increased its grad­u­a­tion rate for African-​​American stu­dents from 42.1 per­cent in 2002 to 69.5 per­cent in 2011. From 2010 to 2011, the grad­u­a­tion rate for African-​​American stu­dents jumped 4.8 percent.

As a society, we are stronger when we are diverse,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “At North­eastern, diver­sity is our pri­ority. It is a col­lec­tive com­mit­ment and I am glad that our efforts are bearing fruit. We must con­tinue on this path.”

Arne Duncan, the U.S. sec­re­tary of edu­ca­tion, praised North­eastern on Twitter on Wednesday, thanking the uni­ver­sity “for their lead­er­ship and com­mit­ment to improving African Amer­ican grad­u­a­tion rates.”

The study— Inten­tion­ally Suc­cessful: Improving Minority Stu­dent Col­lege Grad­u­a­tion Rates—was based on sta­tis­tics culled from The Edu­ca­tion Trust’s Col­lege Results Online data­base. The CRO data­base, the study said, “empowers pol­i­cy­makers, par­ents, prospec­tive stu­dents, and others to dig into a com­pre­hen­sive dataset on col­leges to iden­tify schools that per­form well rel­a­tive to their peers.”

The study cited North­eastern as one of three col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in the nation with sig­nif­i­cant increases in either African-​​American or His­panic grad­u­a­tion rates over the last 10 years. Over the same time period, the grad­u­a­tion rate for Northeastern’s white stu­dents also con­tinued to grow, according to the report. “Suc­cess for one stu­dent group,” the study said, “does not need to come at the expense of another.”

The study also found that the number of African-​​American and Latino under­grad­u­ates enrolled in col­leges nation­wide “grew far faster” than the enroll­ment of white stu­dents over the last three years. From 2009 to 2011, the enroll­ment of African-​​American stu­dents increased 8.5 per­cent, from 1,271,636 to 1,379,680, whereas the number of white stu­dents rose just 2.7 per­cent, from 5,928,302 to 6,090,212.

If more col­leges act on lessons from their faster growing peers,” the report con­cluded, in ref­er­ence to North­eastern, “far more will be suc­cessful in improving grad­u­ating rates for all stu­dents and closing long-​​standing gaps between minority stu­dents and their white classmates.”