CUMU Members Among Those Pledging Commitments to Increase College Opportunity

On Thursday, December 4th, the White House held the second Summit on College Opportunity. During the first summit in January, institutions were asked to make commitments to address a wide range of barriers to college access, including: financial aid, college preparation, technology, and community engagement. The most recent summit focused on collaboration and completion of existing commitments and the addition of several new institutional and consortium commitments.Since the first summit, the White House has hosted a series of smaller meetings with leaders in education to discuss the progress they have made on their commitments and connect people working on similar issues. During the daylong event, participants listened to panels, participated in breakout sessions, and heard speeches by President Obama, the first lady, and the vice president.

The guest list included more than 300 college presidents, foundation heads, and nonprofit executives.  20 CUMU member institutions made new commitments in the areas of completion, STEM, and counseling.   Some of the commitments from CUMU members include:

University of PennsylvaniaPenn committed to launch a new outreach initiative to further inform prospective low- and middle-income students, underrepresented student populations, and first-generation college students about Penn’s all-grant, no-loan financial aid program which meets 100 percent of a student’s full demonstrated need.

California State University, Dominguez Hills: California State University, Dominguez Hills is committing to increasing the STEM student retention from the first to the second year by 10 percent, from 77 percent in 2012 to 87 percent in 2016, towards a university-wide goal of doubling the graduation rate to 60 percent for the Class of 2020.

Miami Dade College: MDC committed to provide basic skills boot camps to reduce the number of students requiring remediation; institute mandatory advisement to ensure students enrolled in the appropriate developmental course sequence or gateway course; and redesign developmental course options to improve and accelerate student success and completion of developmental education.

Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College and CUMU said, “Creating opportunities for all students to access higher education is a top priority for CUMU and our members. It will take all of us working together to meet the President’s goal that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

Read the December 2014 Commitments to Action on College Opportunity Progress Report here. A full report on the White House Summit on College Opportunity can be found on the and on the White House website.