NWU Joins National Commitment to Expand College Access to Low-Income Students

Nebraska Wesleyan University President Fred Ohles joined approximately 100 college presidents on Thursday, January 16 in committing to new and expanded efforts in enrolling and graduating more low-income minority students.

The commitments were part of a White House summit that brought universities, not-for-profits, foundations, businesses and government together to swap ideas for expanding college opportunities. President Barack Obama addressed the audience, describing college access as central to his broader goal of improving economic mobility.

While President Ohles was unable to attend the summit, he was invited to submit the university’s commitment to action.

Nebraska Wesleyan’s plans include forming a partnership with Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College to bring more low-income students into teaching careers.

Plans are still being developed but will include a 2-2-2 process in which students will spend their last two years of high school in early preparation for teaching careers, two years in an associate degree program, followed by two year’s at NWU where they will earn a bachelor’s degree in education.

“The 2-2-2 program will offer early identification of and their preparation for college-level study,” said Ohles. “A pathway to degree completion that balances rigor, strong support, and affordability; and a clear pathway to a career upon graduation.”

The 2-2-2 program commitment builds off of current efforts aimed at low-income students. NWU has ongoing partnerships with neighboring Huntington Elementary and Dawes Middle schools. The university also maintains strong links with African-American-serving and Hispanic-serving community centers through a Guidance to Success Youth Club — founded by Angelo Stabler (’09) while a student at NWU; a Good Neighbor Center, and the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy, a summer initiative in Nebraska of the United Methodist Church.

Details on the 2-2-2 program will be announced this spring.

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