Money is just part of the success model for low-income students
- University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman writes in Inside Higher Ed that financial aid is just part of the comprehensive strategy necessary to support low-income students from matriculation to graduation.
- Lieberman, who heads an Hispanic-serving institution, says support begins with recruiting students to meet with graduates and alumni well before they arrive on campus, and continue the support with intrusive advising once they are enrolled.
- High-impact practices, like internships and community engagement, are other central elements for retention and degree completion.
Hispanic serving and historically black institutions have long pioneered the idea of building community around the academic experience as a model for the successful education of underrepresented groups. Nurturing, intrusive mentoring and enhanced community service options have always been the tenets of these schools' academic missions, and as a result, continue to make them the standard for educating minorities in competitive fields, and yield positive professional perceptions among graduates.
Other institutions, like the University of Maryland Baltimore County, have pioneered access programs based upon these principles, and other institutions would do well by acknowledging the unique presence of minority students, rather than fighting against their hopes for safe space and respect.
- Inside Higher Ed Much more than money