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By Haley Glover, Toya Barnes-Teamer, and Cristen Moore
With rising costs and tightening resources amid debate over the value of a college degree, competition across higher education is fierce. But what happens when a few colleges and universities decide to collaborate instead?
The answer: improved student success.
Three historically black colleges and universities—Dillard University in New Orleans, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Morgan State University in Baltimore—have seized the opportunity to partner on behalf of students.
The collaboration started in September 2016 when Lumina Foundation launched the HBCU Student Success Initiative to significantly improve student outcomes. Lumina chose Dillard (a private, historically Black liberal arts university), Howard (a private, federally chartered historically Black university) and Morgan State (a public, historically Black research university), based on their exceptionally committed leadership and focus on elevating student success.
These very different universities (both in size and mission) set aside their competitive natures to address common barriers that keep students from achieving their academic goals.
For instance, working collaboratively, all three schools created second-year programs to help retain sophomores and ensure their academic success. Traditionally, this can be a tough year, as students make decisions about their majors and future careers. Here is what each school did:
How did Dillard, Howard and Morgan State achieve this? And how will they continue to partner for student success? They adopted these practices:
While their work is far from over, Dillard, Howard and Morgan State are paving the way to greater results with their unique partnership. They say the key, quite simply, is keeping student success at the heart of their combined efforts.
Toya Barnes-Teamer, Ph.D., is a principal with HCM Strategists.
Cristen Moore is a senior associate with HCM.