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Miami, NKU And More Join National Program To Close Equity Gaps In Education

Miami University

Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati State and Gateway Community & Technical College are partnering to join a national initiative aiming to close equity gaps in higher education by 2030. Moon Shot for Equity lays out a path for two- and four-year colleges and universities to work together to increase equity by helping more underrepresented students of color and other historically underserved populations graduate from college.

The program is backed by education company EAB.

As part of the initiative, each school is committing to implement a set of best practices designed to remove systemic barriers. These include:

  • updating academic policies
  • establishing common academic pathways
  • equity-mindedness training

"Data show that barely half of all Black and Latinx students who enter college earn their undergraduate degree within six years compared with nearly 70 percent of white students," the schools state in a release. "First-generation students and those from families with lower incomes also graduate college at significantly lower rates than students from more privileged backgrounds, regardless of race."

Institutions that participate in the Moon Shot program are also tasked with reaching out to local high schools and community-based organizations to learn about their needs and how they can better serve them.

"Higher education institutions that welcome and graduate large numbers of first-generation, low-income students are engines of economic and social mobility,” says NKU President Ashish Vaidya.

Miami University President Gregory Crawford adds, "Eliminating equity gaps in education is one of the most important things we can accomplish in our region, state and country."

Gateway President Fernando Figueroa says the schools have been working independently on these goals and this initiative "enhances these efforts and provides powerful tools and a proven set of strategies that enable our colleges to build a strong collaborative system so that we can accomplish far more together than we ever could working alone."

One example, says Cincinnati State President Monica Posey, is helping students achieve the goal of transferring to four-year schools.

"What we want to look at is how fast they can transfer; how to maximize their credits; how to maximize scholarship opportunities; and how to maximize completion and employment."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.