PMC to Host "Yes We Must" Higher Education Summit

Pine Manor College announced today it will host the "Yes We Must" Summit on March 19-20. The invitational Summit is for private colleges and organizations that promote the national goal of increasing the number of underserved students who graduate. Pine Manor College, which focuses on making graduation a reality for low-income students and is ranked the nation's most diverse campus by US News & World Report 2010, organized the Summit to create a national discussion about President Obama's declared goal of having the world's largest share of college graduates by 2020.

One of the Summit's goals is to bring together key leaders within the sector of higher education devoted to opening up college access to lower-income level students. Speakers at the Summit will include Greg Darnieder, special assistant and Advisor to the Secretary of Education and David Warren, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"One of the primary needs in this country is to make higher education accessible and affordable to a wider demographic of students," said Gloria Nemerowicz, President of Pine Manor College. "If we are going to fulfill President Obama's mission of raising graduation rates to achieve global leadership in the higher education arena, we must reach students who have the potential, but not the resources to earn a college degree."

The Presidents of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and women's colleges are among the invited participants. Representatives from organizations that support access for the underserved student population will also attend.

Although statistics indicate an increasing number of students are enrolling in U.S. colleges, many of them do not graduate. Low-income and minority students enroll in and graduate from four-year colleges and universities at disproportionately lower rates than other high school graduates. Only 25% of low income students actually earn college degrees.

"The consequences of ignoring the degree gap are severe," said President Nemerowicz. "There is a direct relationship between a college education and the well-being of individuals, families and communities, as well as the leadership of our country in the global economy."

The Summit will address topics including:

  1. Finances: How Can Students Pay for College and How Can Our Institutions Thrive Financially
  2. Effective Learning Practices In and Out of the Classroom
  3. Access to College Movement: A Discussion About How Colleges Can Connect More Directly and More Effectively with Access Organizations
  4. What the Media Might Do to Raise Awareness of the Issues

Facilitators will include:

  • Alma Clayton-Pedersen, Vice President for Education and Institutional Renewal, Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Ann. S. Coles, Senior Fellow, ACCESS
  • Greg Darnieder, Special Assistant and Advisor to the Secretary on the Secretary's Initiative on College Access, U.S. Department of Education
  • Bob Giannino-Racine, Executive Director, ACCESS
  • Paul Glastris, Editor in Chief, Washington Monthly
  • Wendell D. Hall, Associate Director, Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
  • Estela Lopez, Senior Program Advisor, Excelencia in Education
  • Joyce E. Smith, CEO, National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • David Warren, President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

The "Yes We Must Summit" is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Nellie Mae Foundation. Please visit www.pmc.edu/yes-we-must for more information about "Yes We Must" and for a detailed schedule of events.