ACCT, Single Stop USA Release White Paper on Student Success, Issue Educational and Public Policy Reform Recommendations
Updated 06/19/2013: Full video of the 06/10/2013 event is now available:
WASHINGTON—The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and Single Stop USA today convened higher education leaders and federal officials on Capitol Hill to discuss findings of a white paper, “Clearing the Path to a Brighter Future: Addressing Barriers to Community College Access and Success.” The event, held in the Rayburn House Office Building, featured presentations by ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown, Single Stop USA CEO and Co-Founder Elisabeth Mason, Miami Dade College (MDC) President Eduardo Padron, the paper’s principal author and University of Wisconsin—Madison Associate Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab, Kresge Foundation Senior Program Officer Caroline Altman Smith, and community college students from the City University of New York (CUNY) and MDC.
“ACCT and Single Stop are excited to share a bold approach in assisting students to break through the barriers that many low-income and first-generation individuals at community colleges face in obtaining a degree,” said Brown.
“By providing a clear access point to federal tax credits and benefits, and additional community resources such as legal and financial counseling, this partnership has helped to redefine how participating students approach student support services,” Mason added.
Case studies from CUNY and MDC campuses are featured in the white paper. Padron expressed appreciation for the opportunity to take part in the Single Stop model, which seeks to decrease poverty by connecting low-income students with existing resources and services that help them become self-sufficient and achieve economic mobility. “Because of the Single Stop program,” Padron said, “there has been a real change in the cultures of how our participating campuses serve students—a change for the better. MDC’s mission is to change lives through the opportunity of education, and thanks to this program, we can offer more and better opportunities than ever before.”
Although “Clearing the Path to a Brighter Future” assesses Single Stop operations at CUNY and MDC, the paper is intended to serve as a practical guide to improve and reform educational and social policy, explained Goldrick-Rab. “The research yielded important findings that will truly help more students from low-income families attain and complete their educational goals,” she said.
The paper offers 16 specific recommendations broken down under the following headings: Modernize Student Services; Reform Financial Aid in the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act; Coordinate Social Policy and Education Policy; and Evaluate the Evidence.
“Policy is at the heart of student success,” Brown said. “ACCT’s members—trustees throughout the United States and beyond—are strongly urged to read this report and heed its suggestions. It is incumbent upon community college boards to set policy that furthers student success and completion, and to support their presidents in executing those policies.”
Altman Smith lauded the report, saying that “the Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunities for low-income people—and this report highlights areas where we can have a significant and positive impact on the trajectory of community college students. We hope that both educational and political leaders will pay attention to this innovative model and the report’s recommendations for improving student success.” The Kresge Foundation, based in metropolitan Detroit, underwrote the report.
About the Association of Community College Trustees
The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter at twitter.com/CCTrustees.
About Single Stop USA
Single Stop USA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income individuals achieve financial self-sufficiency and economic mobility through a unique “one-stop” program that combines benefits screening and application assistance and financial counseling. These resources promote health; help individuals to overcome barriers to attending school; help families to remain in their homes; and offer a path to economic stability. In 2012 Single Stop and its partners served over 157,000 families in seven states and 90 sites and connected them with over $470 million in existing benefits and services.
About the Kresge Foundation
Based in metropolitan Detroit, The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations working in its seven program areas: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Detroit, Education, the Environment, Health, and Human Services. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge’s Education grantmaking. In 2012, Kresge awarded more than $22 million in grants to support higher education in the United States and South Africa, with half benefiting U.S. community colleges. For more information, please visit the Foundation website: www.kresge.org or follow @kresgedu.
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