Pres. Hrabowski Calls for Institutional Culture Change at White House Summit

photo 1On Thursday, President Hrabowski attended the second White House Summit on College Opportunity. The summit gathered together hundreds of college presidents and heads of foundations and non-profit organizations, as well as President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden.

Dr. Hrabowski participated in a panel on innovation, along with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Arizona State President Michael Crow, Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative Founding Director Candace Thille and Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun. In the panel, Dr. Hrabowski focused on the need for institutional culture change in order to develop and implement truly effective higher education innovations that support student success. “One of the challenges is that we sometimes pit one culture against another,” he says. “Math and science are part of the liberal arts. We need people who can think broadly, put technology in perspective.”

Watch video of the Summit below. Dr. Hrabowski’s panel begins at 59:50.

Read coverage of the Summit below.

Tracking the Second White House Summit (The Chronicle Storify)
At Second Higher Ed Summit, Obama Administration Mixes Praise and Accountability (Inside Higher Ed)
White House summit calls for using data to boost graduation rates (The Hechinger Report)
White House summit seeks to boost college graduation rates (Christian Science Monitor)

Pres. Hrabowski Reveals What College Means to Him in CollegeBound Video

The CollegeBound Foundation kicked off their “What College Means to Me” series with a video featuring President Hrabowski. The CollegeBound Foundation works in Baltimore City and encourages students to attend college.

The video followed Dr. Hrabowski around campus as he discussed what he learned in college. “College taught me… to think independently and to figure out what I really believed and what was important to me in life,” he said.

Dr. Hrabowski also counseled students who are unfamiliar with postsecondary education to visit a college campus and see themselves there. “I want you to believe in yourself,” he encouraged. “Nothing is more important than your belief in yourself.

Pres. Hrabowski Highlights Effective Strategies to Support Students in The Chronicle

In this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, a powerful column by President Hrabowski challenges colleges and universities to more effectively support student success by focusing on institutional culture change.

Dr. Hrabowski recalls the beginnings of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program and Choice Program, and the lessons UMBC has learned about helping students from all backgrounds succeed. The Meyerhoff program has served as a model for new programs across the nation, including the Hopps Scholars Program at Morehouse College and recent efforts at Pennsylvania State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The central question for any university is how to be clear about the vision of what it is trying to achieve and what it wants for its students,” Dr. Hrabowski writes. “It is important to create a climate in which students, faculty, and staff can be honest about the problems they are facing, work together to develop strategies that can be effective, and share feedback about what is working.”

Click here to read “How to Get More Black Men Into Science.”

New York Times Suggests Silicon Valley Recruit Tech Talent From Universities Like UMBC

A recent editorial in The New York Times examined the lack of diversity at technology companies in Silicon Valley. Technology giants, such as Google, Facebook and Apple, have admitted to having low numbers of women and minority employees and are now working to improve diversity in the workplace.

The editorial suggests that one way to address the problem is to recruit employees from universities that focus on helping women and minorities graduate with degrees in technical fields. President Hrabowski discussed how UMBC helps underrepresented groups excel in science and engineering. “[UMBC] produces many women and minority graduates in science and engineering disciplines,” the editorial stated. “Many find jobs with federal government agencies and East Coast technology companies, because the university has strong relationships with those employers.”

Click here to read “Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem” in The New York Times.

Pres. Hrabowski’s Encouraging Message for Maryland Parents in The Baltimore Sun

Last week, President Hrabowski spoke at a parent empowerment and engagement forum sponsored by the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and the African American Community Roundtable of Howard County.

At the forum, as HCPSS discussed a program to help parents track student achievement, Dr. Hrabowski encouraged parents to take advantage of educational opportunities and resources and be increasingly involved in their children’s learning.

“I want parents to understand how very important it is for them to play a key role in helping their students achieve in school,” he said. “And I want parents to understand that they needed to support teachers in raising the bar for every child.”

Click here to read “UMBC’s Hrabowski challenges Howard parents to lay educational foundation at home” in The Baltimore Sun.

Pres. Hrabowski Discusses Degree to Career Pathways in The Washington Post

Many in the U.S. see focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education as a way to encourage innovation and improve American competitiveness. However, a recent study found that most STEM graduates work in other fields. This has fueled discussion around whether there is a shortage or surplus of STEM workers.

President Hrabowski commented on the debate, saying that the report ignores the realities of the job market. He emphasized the importance of looking at how STEM graduates use their degrees in various fields, stating that many UMBC students receive job offers before graduation because of shortages in fields like information technology, and that, ultimately, we must focus on teaching students across all majors how to find patterns, learn scientifically and collaborate with one another.

Click here to read “Policymakers hail STEM education as a strong foundation, pushing innovation” in The Washington Post.

Dr. Hrabowski was also mentioned an article about the value of  universities in America. Click here to read “On the Immense Good Fortune of Higher Education” in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Pres. Hrabowski Interview on EvoLLLution Focuses on Supporting First-Generation College Students

President Hrabowski examines college accessibility issues for first-generation students and how universities can help them succeed in a new interview on EvoLLLution, an online newspaper focusing on continuing education.

Many first-generation students struggle with the application process, Dr. Hrabowski notes, because they may not have someone in their household who can guide them through the system, knowing what it takes to be successfully admitted to and enrolled in a university. In the interview, Dr. Hrabowski emphasizes how universities must adapt to more effectively support these students, saying, “Part of innovation means looking in the mirror and understanding that the world of tomorrow does not have to be the same as the world of today.”

Click here to listen to the interview.