Washington, D.C., May 4, 2009—The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and the Wal-Mart Foundation announced today the first cohort of Wal-Mart Minority Student Success institutions. Through the awards program, 30 minority-serving institutions (MSIs)—Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities—will each receive $100,000 grants to help build on programs that support first-generation students. Selected through a highly competitive application process, the first cohort of 15 institutions will begin their work at the 2009 IHEP Summer Academy, and a second cohort will be selected in spring 2010.
The Wal-Mart Foundation grants will support the strengthening of the first-generation student success programs at the selected institutions, with a special focus on classroom practices and the role faculty play in their students’ academic success.
The awardees include:
- Bennett College for Women (NC)
- California State University-Fresno
- Claflin University (SC)
- Colorado State University-Pueblo
- Florida International University
- La Guardia Community College (NY)
- Mount St. Mary’s College (CA)
- Navajo Technical College (NM)
- Norfolk State University (VA)
- Northwest Indian College (WA)
- Salish Kootenai College (MT)
- Spelman College (GA)
- Tennessee State University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of the Incarnate Word
Each of these institutions has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing its capacity to retain and graduate first-generation college students.
“We are excited to be working with such an array of institutions, all of which are committed to enrolling and ensuring the academic success of first-generation students.” said IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. “The planned initiatives at the participating MSIs will serve as important models for the broader higher education community, particularly for institutions with significant concentrations of this important student population.”
“The Wal-Mart Foundation is committed to helping our nation’s young adults live better—supporting programs that provide access to higher education is a key part of our commitment,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “We are confident that our partnership with IHEP and MSIs will positively impact many first-generation college students and assure their academic success.
Approximately 41 percent of students enrolled at MSIs are first-generation, compared to 30 percent of students at Predominantly White Institutions. Because of their overrepresentation of first-generation students, MSIs are ideally situated to improve retention and persistence gaps for this population of students.
For more information about the Wal-Mart Minority Student Success Initiative and grantees, visit the IHEP Web site.