Chancellor Kirwan Joins White House Summit on Expanding College Access for Low-Income Youth
White House Recognizes USM for
Ongoing Commitments to Access and Degree Completion
Adelphi, Md. (Jan. 16, 2014) -- University
System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan was among the university
chancellors and presidents who participated in today's White House summit to
promote access to higher education for students from low-income families.
university systems, foundations and other non-profit groups throughout the United
States delivered commitments that are designed to make degree-completion more
attainable for low-income students. The White House publication "Commitments to Action on College
Opportunity" recognizes several important USM initiatives.
"The University System of Maryland (USM) will seek to expand the
Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program, created in
partnership with Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools and Montgomery College.
ACES identifies low-income students with college potential in the 10th grade, provides
continuous academic coaching and support from 11th grade through a community
college degree, awards scholarships, and provides pathways through a baccalaureate
program at a USM institution. The first cohort of 1,000 has been identified in
one county with expansion planned across the state.
Building on Existing Efforts: The
University System of Maryland has developed Way2GoMaryland, an outreach campaign
that provides information and engagement in communities regarding access to its
institutions. The program is a major component of USM's efforts to increase the
college preparation, participation, retention, and graduation rates of students
statewide. In addition, the STEM Transfer Success Initiative of UMBC (the
University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and four community colleges addresses
the collaboration required for successful student transfer from 2 to 4 year
STEM programs: institutional partnerships, dissemination of principles and
practice, and curricular alignment. A STEM Toolkit product will compile all
components and resources developed in the project."
The report also notes the USM's launch in 2006 of a system-wide
course redesign initiative. Redesigns have included learning labs and studios
and technology enhanced hybrid courses. "These redesigns are sustainable
solutions for expediting student progression through developmental course work
to credit-bearing course work," the White House notes.
interview with the Washington Post, Chancellor Kirwan praised President Obama
and First Lady Michelle Obama for their leadership in advancing access to
higher education and degree completion.
"This is a personal top priority
of mine," Kirwan told the newspaper. "I am thrilled that the president and, to
her credit, the president's wife, have kind of made this a signature initiative
for the remainder of his administration."
A detailed summary of the event,
with links to a White House report on increasing opportunity for low-income
students and a summary of commitments from universities and other organizations
around the U.S., can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/fact-sheet-president-and-first-lady-s-call-action-college-opportunity.
Contact: Mike Lurie