Representatives from colleges and universities that serve large numbers of minority students will gather for a two-day meeting this week at North Carolina Central University to explore and share strategies for student success. Scholars and administrators from institutions serving African-American, Hispanic and American Indian students will attend the spring 2012 meeting of the Walmart Foundation Student Success Collaborative on Thursday, March 1, and Friday, March 2.
The initiative is a two-year project, financed by a $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, involving three organizations that focus on education of minority students: The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), representing historically black colleges and universities and other institutions with substantial black student enrollment; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).
Combined, the institutions represented by these three groups educate more than one-third of the nation’s minority students, many of whom are from low-income backgrounds and are the first in their families to attend college. The three organizations share the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates of students enrolled in the colleges and universities they represent.
The aim of the Walmart Foundation Student Success Collaborative is to identify institutions with high rates of student persistence and graduation and to determine the practices and strategies that contribute to this success — and then to find ways to encourage other institutions to adopt those practices. The ultimate goal is to significantly increase graduation rates at all minority-serving institutions.
About 50 educators are expected at the meeting, which will include panel discussions, workshops and a variety of presentations and case studies. The Thursday meetings will be in NCCU’s new Nursing Building, and Friday’s will be in the W.G. Pearson Cafeteria Chancellor’s Dining Room.