RENO — Nevada has been chosen as the first state to take part in a project designed to improve the nation’s college graduation rates and elevate the status of its work force.
Funded by the Ford Foundation, “Educational Equity and Postsecondary Student Success” will focus on improving college completion rates particularly among minorities, low-income and first-generation students.
“We know that we have a population in Nevada that is increasingly both minority and low-income, and we have a number of initiatives ongoing right now to try to identify those students and figure out why they are not going to college, getting through college and out into the work force,” Dan Klaich, Nevada System of Higher Education chancellor, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
He said minorities, low-income students and students who would be the first in their families to go to college are most at-risk of not entering college after high school or failing to complete their degrees if they do enroll.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a regional organization that coordinates efforts to improve higher education among 15 states, including Nevada, is working on the project in partnership with the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education.
Nevada was selected for the project because all seven of its public post-secondary educational institutions are under one administrative body. That allows researchers to look at issues affecting graduation rates from a systemwide perspective rather than from separate institutions, said Magdalena Martinez, the lead investigator on the project and the NSHE assistant vice chancellor.