Tag: higher education

Lawrence commits to educate more high-achieving, low-income students

Lawrence University has announced ambitious new plans aimed at attracting and supporting high achieving, low- and moderate-income students as a member of the American Talent Initiative (ATI).

President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

Lawrence was among the first colleges to join the ATI, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative led by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R.

Each participating institution is working toward the overall ATI goal of enrolling 50,000 additional talented, low- and moderate-income students by the year 2025 at colleges and universities with strong graduation rates.

“The American Talent Initiative reinforces Lawrence’s long-standing commitment to improve access for high-achieving students from families with limited means,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “However, access is only a first step. Through this initiative, Lawrence will strengthen its efforts to support these students to assure that they thrive and persist to graduation.”

ATI, which has grown its membership to 86 colleges and universities in less than a year, works with institutions across the country that graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years. Lawrence was among ATI’s initial 60 top schools, which includes Bates College, Franklin & Marshall College, Pomona College, Stanford University and Yale University. ATI recently announced 18 additional prestigious colleges have jointed the program, among them Northwestern University, Bowdoin College and Case Western Reserve University.

Lawrence has developed action plans aimed at supporting these students socially, academically and financially, from before they arrive on campus to graduation and beyond.A graduation mortar board with the message Don't let your dreams be dreams

Lawrence’s goal is to improve socioeconomic diversity through a number of strategies expected to drive enrollment among high-achieving, lower income students, including:

Identifying talented students through better recruitment of qualified high school graduates and high-achieving transfer students from community colleges and other schools

Reaching out directly to the neediest families nationwide to increase the number of Pell Grant-eligible students enrolled, the number of applications from Pell Grant-eligible students, and the number of first-generation students enrolled

Removing cost as a barrier to access by increasing need-based aid to make attendance more affordable

Retaining and graduating lower-income students at rates comparable to their higher-income peers

As part of its commitment, each member institution works with ATI to develop action plans to recruit more students from economically diverse backgrounds, ensure that admitted lower-income students enroll and engage in campus life, prioritize need-based financial aid and minimize gaps in progression and graduation rates between students of differing socio-economic backgrounds.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence supports court challenge to DACA program rescission

Lawrence University has joined 49 other colleges and universities in signing an amicus curiae — friend-of-the-court — brief supporting a legal challenge to the proposed end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The universities signed the brief as part of a civil action which the University of California is pursuing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

President Mark Burstein
President Burstein

Lawrence is the only Wisconsin institution to join this brief. Similar briefs have been signed and filed by Ivy League colleges and higher education institutions with religious affiliations.

The California lawsuit challenges a Sept. 5 order rescinding the five-year-old policy that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Congress was given a six-month window to pass a replacement law before DACA protections are eliminated.

Officials estimate approximately 800,000 young adults brought to the United States as children by their parents qualify for the program, giving them the right to work legally and remain in the country without fear of deportation.

“Ensuring Lawrence remains open to students from all backgrounds who display academic excellence is a core value of this university,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein.  “DACA has provided a valuable avenue for talented students to pursue a college education and meaningful work.”

According to the brief, ending DACA will harm campuses and some of the best and brightest students across the country. It could deprive institutions of highly skilled and trained faculty and staff. It could force students to suspend their studies mid-way through their educational journey, leaving them with no degree to show for their efforts.

Perhaps most importantly, even for schools without DACA students, supporting DACA is central to the institution’s core mission of providing an education to help people realize their ambitions and potential and contribute to the community, the country and the world.

The brief states, “The rescission of DACA devalues that mission without any rational basis. In that respect, it harms all amici (those 50 institutions of higher education who signed the brief).

Students walking across campusThe brief concludes by noting “DACA is an enlightened and humane policy and it represents the very best of America. It provides legal certainty for a generation of high-achieving young people who love this country and were raised here. Once at college or university, DACA recipients are among the most engaged both academically and otherwise. They work hard in the classroom and become deeply engaged in extracurricular activities.

“Moreover, DACA students are deeply committed to giving back to their communities and more broadly, the country they love. These are not the types of individuals we should be pushing out of the country or returning to a life in the shadows. As institutions of higher education, we see every day the achievement and potential of these young people and we think it imperative that they be allowed to remain here and live out their dreams.”

The brief reflects the interests of institutions across the spectrum of higher education, including large public research universities, small private liberal arts colleges and two-year community colleges. Additionally, more than 800 college and university presidents have signed a letter to Congress urging them to take action to protect Dreamers.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Critical Issues Forum series explores “The Purpose of Higher Education”

A Head shot of Lawrence University President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein leads a panel discussion examining the issues and challenges facing higher education as part of the university’s ongoing Critical Issues Forum series.

The program “The Purpose of Higher Education,” Friday, April 14 at 11:10 a.m. in the Thomas Steitz Hall of Science atrium, is free and open to the public.

A Head shot of Lawrence Provost David Burrows
Provost David Burrows
A Head shot of Lawrence vice president for diversity and inclusion Kimberly Barrett
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kimberly Barrett

Burstein will be joined on the panel by Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kimberly Barrett. Together they will explore the role education plays in addressing the challenges of our day and discuss university and community practices related to higher education. Audience members will be encouraged to share their perspective and opinions on the topic and their input will be used to inform future university decision making and practices.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.