Several colleges and universities have signed up to join a nationwide initiative titled Moon Shot for Equity. The program focuses on eradicating the equity gap in higher education by providing research, technology, and strategies to build better, more unbiased college systems.
Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and Gateway Community and Technical College will utilize a program designed by education best practices firm EAB to ensure that college students from underserved communities successfully graduate.
The program will allow schools to monitor student progress and success, indicating when faculty and other officials should offer academic support or counseling. Schools will also have to adopt 15 best practices in the next five years, including building common academic pathways, adjusting policies, and providing equity training to university leaders.
“Higher Education Institutions that welcome and graduate large numbers of first-generation, low-income students are engines of economic and social mobility,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “Our institutions are working together to keep the American dream of opportunity alive. We have to continue focusing on all these subpopulations so that their graduation rates continue to rise in preparation for a lifetime of achievement.”
Dwindling Graduation Rates
A 2019 National Center for Education Statistics report showed that the six-year graduation rates for minority students are: 54 percent for Hispanic students, 51 percent for Pacific Islanders, 40 percent for Black students, and 39 percent for American Indian/Alaskan Native students.
Ohio Department of Higher Education chancellor Randy Gardner explained that these numbers have only gotten worse during the pandemic and must immediately be confronted.
Miami President Gregory Crawford agreed with Gardner saying, “Eliminating equity gaps in education is one of the most important things we can accomplish in our region, state, and country. Just think about the impact that one college graduate has in our region. We just love to see that ripple effect that they bring to our communities.”