Success in College for New Majority Students: Applying What Works

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 -
8:30am to 11:00am EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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MEMBERS: To register yourself and or a colleague at your organization, please click on the link above (visible through April 25th).
NON-MEMBERS: To register, please fill out this online form.  Non-members will receive a confirmation by email no later than two business days before the event.

A Philanthropy New York Members Briefing sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New YorkFord Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and The Teagle Foundation, with Grantmakers for Education (GFE).

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: All interested funders, including those working in education, in college access programs, and with particular populations aspiring to college such as new immigrants, low-income students, and traditionally under-represented minorities.

In its population of college students, New York City reflects the glorious diversity of its residents:  part-time students, new immigrants, young and older adults, low-income students, ethnic and racial groups of every category, career-changers, first-in-family college goers, and more.  They may seek a credential to advance their careers while aiming toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.  They may be on a direct or meandering path toward a degree, moving in and out of local colleges as their circumstances, ambitions, and finances allow.  New York’s public and private community and four-year colleges alike are continually adapting to this reality, re-designing undergraduate programs in response to the academic, social and personal needs of residents like these, collectively referred to as new majority students because nationally they outnumber full-time residential students who were the norm in college a few generations ago.

Philanthropy has supported the rapid expansion of American higher education since World War II, and today many foundations directly support historically underserved and emerging new majority college students through scholarships and various special programs, or they may support colleges and universities to adapt their programs to ensure a high quality education whatever a student’s aspirations for higher education.  In light of the gloomy fiscal climate that will challenge financing of higher education even more severely in the coming years, and knowing that nationally too few new majority students thrive and persist to achieving their college goals, funders who are themselves stewarding constrained resources seek evidence of what works best with these groups for their success in college.

This session will look beyond “success,” often understood as access to and persistence in college, to highlight specific practices now known to result in better learning in college.  In a roundtable discussion, representatives from several local colleges will share how these practices – first-year seminars, learning communities, service learning, undergraduate research, and capstone experiences – in combination are resulting in better student learning on their campuses, especially for those new majority students who start college academically farther behind than their peers.  A representative from a major national organization that champions the high-impact practices to be discussed will comment on the national significance of these colleges’ work.  Funders who have supported work to describe, disseminate, and more widely apply these practices will also share their perspectives on the opportunities and the challenges the practices present for improving students’ success in college and for accelerating reform in higher education.

The roundtable format will allow ample time for interaction and discussion.