Growing up “downriver” of Detroit, she was emancipated at 15. She had no health insurance, no dental insurance, and no home address – because she had no permanent home back then. During her early days in college, she worried what would happen when the academic year wrapped up. Students couldn’t stay in the residence halls over the summer months.
Campus leaders are grappling with the effects of Trump’s immigration ban. Many are warning their students, staff and faculty about foreign travel and reinforcing their commitment to a global community of scholars. Here is a sampling of statements from higher education leaders: Continue reading
This week a group of 30 selective American colleges and universities, together with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, announced a collaborative effort to expand access for low-income students. This effort—dubbed the American Talent Initiative—is part of a suite of initiatives that are attempting to help academically qualified students from lower-income families get improved access to elite universities.
The problem has been a stubborn one to solve, and has persisted despite numerous, well-meaning efforts. This is because high school grades and standardized test scores, which factor heavily into selective university admissions, are closely correlated with affluence. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation noted in a report earlier this year that the 193 universities with the most competitive admissions have made only 1 percentage point of progress in enrolling Pell recipients in more than a decade: from 16 percent of first-time, full-time students in 2000 to 17 percent in at 2013. The foundation called for a “poverty preference” in selective university admissions. Continue reading
The University of Michigan just unveiled an $85 million, 5-year strategic plan laser focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. Following a year of campus-wide engagement, the effort is a massive institutional commitment with all the hallmarks of a sound planning process: ground-up development, broad input, actionable goals, resources to support those goals and accountability.
A recent article in Education Dive titled “Don’t Wait on a Crisis to Implement Diversity initiatives” hit on some crucial points.
One thing I have observed over many years of work in this area is that activism and institutional response on race, climate, inclusion, and privilege seem to be cyclical. Institutions tend to change very slowly and they make the most change around diversity when they are responding to the “pain” and disruption of activism. Students and other activists grow frustrated with the slow pace of change, and things eventually come to a head with demonstrations, demands, and elevated attention.