MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
When Michigan State University senior Emettra Nelson was in the delivery room about to give birth to her daughter, she was also working on homework and emailing professors about her impending absence.
Now, three years later, her life as a single mom working part-time to get through college isn’t any easier.
That’s why she recently started a fundraising campaign on crowdfunding website GoFundMe. Without the financial support, her dream of graduating was in danger.
“My mom mentioned that I should start a GoFundMe,” Nelson said. “But I was really hesitant about doing it just because I wasn’t really sure how people would be receptive to my story.”
After putting aside her pride, she launched one. Then she came across a scholarship competition GoFundMe was holding, and applied for that. Then, the big news came: She’d won $10,000 from GoFundMe to help pay for school.
Degree attainment is critical to the health of the economy, especially as the labor market shifts more and more towards higher skill and knowledge requirements. The skills gap is not going to close itself and college and university leaders are beginning to recognize the importance of taking a leading role in supporting greater access, retention and completion. In this context, transfer from two-year to four-year institutions is more important now than ever before, but the postsecondary system is still largely not set up to support students who take this path. In this interview, Joy Gates Black reflects on the importance of transfer and shares her thoughts on how college and university leaders can collaborate more closely to make this pathway a reality for students.
Capella University, a Minneapolis-based for-profit online school aimed at working adults, has named Richard "Dick" Senese as its new president.
Senese had been serving as interim president for nearly a year, in addition to his previous duties as vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer — positions he has held since 2014. While president, he will continue to be the school's chief academic officer.
In the permanent role, Senese said he hopes to continue moving forward with a number of initiatives already in place, including growing its FlexPath program that allows students to work through courses at their own pace and building more partnerships with businesses to have employees take classes at Capella.
Supporting students who begin in two-year colleges to transfer successfully to a four-year institution requires an integrated, coherent and sustained approach. At UMUC, where I have served as both the dean of the undergraduate school and now as provost, we have embraced a “full-court press” approach to welcoming and supporting transfer students from the community colleges in Maryland.