The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) have launched a new website that lists initiatives at private, nonprofit colleges developed to improve recruitment of at-risk students, and to better the retention and graduation rates of those and other students.
The site has been developed as part of a larger project, ‘Building Blocks to 2020’, which aims to help meet President Barack Obama’s goals for increasing college access and completion.
“Nonprofit private colleges are committed to doing their part to make the U.S. first in the world in college completion again, and are redoubling their efforts to increase the number of graduates from all backgrounds,” said NAICU President David L. Warren in a statement. “Given the productivity of the nonprofit private sector in graduating students – we enroll 19 percent of all students, but award 26 percent of all degrees – our institutions will be a crucial part of helping the nation reach the 2020 goal.”
The Building Blocks to 2020 website includes summaries of 535 existing or proposed programs at 250 nonprofit private colleges and universities. Summaries of programs can be browsed alphabetically by institution and by state, and are searchable by 34 categories.
The website is expected to assist campus professionals working on the front lines of student access, retention and completion to learn from the experiences of other colleges, and to seek practices and policies that fit their individual institutional missions and student populations, according to NAICU and the CIC.
Until the past decade, the U.S. led the world in college completion. However, as the percentage of young adults with degrees has surged in other developed nations, the U.S. now ranks 12th in the percentage of adults 25 to 34 with an associate degree or higher, according to the College Board.