Inequities in opportunity begin far before college, according to a recent report.
In fact, the social class a child is born into is a better predictor than academic test scores when it comes to calculating future earning power, research from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce shows.
Reach Higher hosted the fifth annual Beating the Odds Summit Tuesday to support first-generation college-bound students.
“No matter how much you may front, there is a part of you that is wondering whether this was a mistake and whether I belong and whether I can do this. Can I go on this campus or start this program? Am I really worthy of it? Those were the messages I had going on in my head and they still come up in life,” former First Lady Michelle said.
“…But here’s my one big message. This is not a mistake. You are here because you are more than capable of doing it.”
The needs of Native American students are too often overlooked in all phases of higher education— including the admission process, according to a recent research project from the American Indian College Fund.
“(I)nvisibility is in essence the modern form of racism used against Native Americans…when a student is invisible, his or her academic needs are not met,” according to a recent executive brief produced by the College Fund, the largest US charity supporting Native student access to higher education.
As a result, many Native students are dissuaded from considering postsecondary education. And when American Indian students do try to access higher ed, they often are left feeling unwelcome and alone. Sometimes, they are even the target of hostility, as was the case in May 2018 when two brothers from the Mohawk Nation were removed from a Colorado State University campus tour after a mother on the tour became suspicious of their motives.
I recently had the opportunity to represent NACAC at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Since 1988, this annual conference has served as the premier forum for members of the higher education community to discuss and work to create college campuses that are more equitable, accessible, and anti-racist.
NCORE was an incredibly valuable professional development opportunity. My participation in this conference helped affirm the importance of some of the work already underway at NACAC and sparked ideas for new avenues for advocacy. Here are some of the things that have kept me thinking in the weeks that have passed since the conference concluded.
When I learned of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) in 2011, I immediately decided to go. There, I was amazed to see various departments such as academic affairs, multicultural affairs, housing, and development represented. However, I saw very few people from college admission counseling and enrollment management.
By 2014, I decided to do something to change that. That year, I founded NCORE’s Enrollment Management Professionals Caucus (EMPC) — a convening of faculty and staff who work with students at the intersection of high school and higher education and/or help to manage enrollment at colleges and universities, including those who work in admission, financial aid, registrar, and college counseling, among other departments.
Undocumented status can add an additional challenge into the already complex college application process.
“For undocumented students, there are so many barriers to pursuing higher education: an unstable political climate, a lack of clarity around university policies, the cost of attendance and less access to financial aid, and concerns about travel and safety, to name a few,” said Jessica Ch’ng, senior assistant director, multicultural recruitment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To work toward breaking down these barriers, Ch’ng used a NACAC Imagine Fund grant.
We’ll be broadcasting via Facebook Live on Tuesday, July 9 with Brian Coleman, this year’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion keynote speaker.
An eloquent and enthusiastic advocate for college counseling, Coleman is a school counselor and counseling department chair at Jones College Prep in Chicago, IL. He was named the 2019 School Counselor of the Year and was also this year’s recipient of the Upstander Award from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
As a high school college counselor, I should be enjoying a relaxing summer, but my work is far from over. My summer days are dedicated to making calls to every graduating senior to ensure deadlines are being met, deposits are being paid, and orientations are being attended. And that doesn’t end after the student starts college.
Today, graduates of KIPP high schools complete college at a rate of 45 percent, that is four times the national average of 11 percent for students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. We accomplish this through detailed check-ins with our college students and maintaining a lower student-to-counselor ratio (roughly 100-to-1 versus 482-to-1 nationwide).
Imagine if every student had access to this level of intensive college counseling, then our college completion rates would improve. Today only one out of 10 students from low-income families earn a bachelor’s degree. The KIPP Foundation is urging Congress to prioritize college counseling nationwide and make it a priority in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We recommend creating a federal grant program intended to increase the number of college counselors in public schools, adopt proven evidence-based counseling practices, and track results.