All posts by Ashley Dobson

Arizona College Celebrates First-Gen Students

Courtesy of Arizona Western College

In an effort to combat stereotypes and poverty, one Arizona college has come up with a creative way to engage its largely first-generation student population.

Sixty-six percent of Arizona Western College’s nearly 8,000 undergrads identify as first-gen students. And according to recent data from the Community College Benchmark Project, 22 percent of Arizona Western’s students have annual family incomes of less than $20,000. The median family income for the school is $34,200.

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College Access: How the Space Race Opened Doors for Women

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We all know the space race gave America access to the moon, but did you know it also helped pave the way for more women to go to college?

Women now make up more than 56 percent of students on campuses nationwide, according to the US Department of Education. But back in the 1960s, colleges often used “gender quotas” or simply excluded women entirely.

2018 marks 60 years since the passage of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). In a recent episode of the Ways & Means podcast, host Emily Hanford explored how the National Defense Education Act inadvertently gave millions of American women access to college.

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Common Application Launches New App for Transfer Students

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The Common Application has launched a new application for transfer students, helping meet a growing need for this student population.

More than one-third of all students switch schools sometime during their college career and more than two-thirds of US colleges view transfer students as considerably important in meeting enrollment goals, according to NACAC’s State of College Admission report.

The new Common App for transfer will allow transfer students to provide information about their qualifications for admission in a more targeted and tailored way. For example, it includes a prerequisite coursework feature, allowing applicants can select courses they completed that apply toward prerequisite requirements for particular academic programs.

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Imagine Grant Helps Students Explore Postsecondary Options

Post-Secondary Readiness through Intervention, Mentoring, and Exposure (PRIME) Summer College Readiness Workshop and Tour students pose during the summer 2017 program. Submitted by Kimberly McGuire

Once counselor and Imagine Grant recipient Kimberly McGuire noticed an ongoing problem in her district, she couldn’t let it go. She knew she had to find a way to help students stay focused on their goal of college attendance.

“A lot of times counselors get pulled outside of their role during the school year. We thought, if we could start over the summer, perhaps we could inspire these students throughout the year to maintain contact with their counselors and give them the tools so they can start the research on their own,” McGuire said.

“We just see so many gaps. This is something that’s needed.”

McGuire, along with fellow Savannah-Chatham County public school counselors Kim Jackson-Allen and Chiquita Polite, developed the Post-Secondary Readiness through Intervention, Mentoring, and Exposure (PRIME) Summer College Readiness Workshop and Tour.

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Report: More Single Moms Pursuing Higher Ed

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Single moms are among the fastest growing populations on college campuses, but the group’s graduation rates don’t reflect this positive trend.

There are about 2.1 million single moms in college, according to a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Single moms now comprise more than 11 percent of college students, up from 7.8 percent in 1999.

However, only 28 percent of single moms who entered college between 2003 and 2009 completed their degree or certificate program within six years. Compare this to 40 percent of married mothers or 57 percent of women in college without children.

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College Admission Takes Center Stage

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There is nothing like the college admission process to bring out the drama.

Abigail Henkin, a recent graduate of Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep, thinks so anyway.

Her play, Decision Day, likens selecting a college to a dating game. The play beat out more than 500 submissions to be featured in the 31st annual Young Playwrights Festival in Chicago.

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