The 2018 Leadership Institute Kickoff
September 28, 2018
Multiple Inequalities in Higher Education:
How do we meet our students’ needs if we fail to understand the problems and students lack universal access to resources?
Research suggests that about 61% of students enrolled at four-year public universities like ours graduate within 150 percent (6 years) of the expected graduation time. This leaves roughly 40% of students without the benefits of higher education, and often saddled with debt. The truth is that marginalized, vulnerable, and at-risk students encounter inequalities in higher education not generally faced by those who enter college with a support system in place. Some students go hungry on a regular basis, while others are faced with personal and/or intrafamily addiction, both of which affect student success and/or ability to complete college. Other challenges might include marginalization due to sexual orientation, gender, race, or ethnicity; income inequality; or homelessness to name a few. It is our responsibility to ensure that all students have the opportunity to pursue and complete their academic journey. Addressing these issues from the individual campus’ perspective can result in desired changes to our educational institutions that promote overall student success.