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Thought Leadership

Creating a Culture of College Persistence

Brittney Wampler

Most students — particularly underrepresented, nontraditional, transfer students or first gen — just aren’t taking advantage of the support colleges make available for college persistence and career readiness

Rising college prices and student debt are a huge national concern, for good reason. Here at Cleveland State University, an urban-serving campus where about one-third of undergraduates are first-generation college students, we’re fortunate that our tuition is in the lowest tier for U.S. four-year institutions. Price is still a factor, of course, but it just isn’t the biggest barrier to success for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Instead, we’re focused on the many other challenges faced by our undergraduates, many of whom are underrepresented, nontraditional, transfer students or first gen, as noted—or a mixture of these. We’re convinced that universities like ours can move the needle by focusing intently on the many support needs of disadvantaged students beyond money.

Those needs are extensive and haven’t always been met as well as they should be at many institutions. That, of course, isn’t from a lack of trying. But colleges need to learn from their past efforts, starting with an honest assessment of where they’ve fallen short. The challenges we’ve faced—and the changes needed to address them—have taught us a lot and may have lessons for other universities, too...

Read the full article on Inside Higher Ed

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