Just 20 percent of college-goers fit the stereotype of being young, single, full-time students who finish a degree in four years. College students today are more likely to be older, part-time, working, and low-income than they were three decades ago. Many are the first in their families to go to college.
This American RadioWorks documentary shows how universities are adapting to serve these new students. It explains changing demographics, and explores what colleges must do to remain engines of social mobility.
In this program, we will:
- visit Amherst College, a leader among elite schools in recruiting and serving non-traditional students. Amherst has worked hard to get the “new student” to campus. We learn why the next step is helping those students succeed once they’re there.
- learn about the “access + excellence” mission at the University of Texas-El Paso, across the Mexican border from Juarez. The student body there is 80 percent Hispanic and largely low income. UTEP is growing quickly in size and reputation, well on its way to becoming a top-tier research university. Its leaders say all public regional universities can follow UTEP’s example, and educate the students they have, not the students they wish they had.
- travel to the Yakama reservation in Washington State, where Heritage University is bringing liberal arts to migrant farmworkers and tribal members. To stay afloat, Heritage is reaching beyond its historic population of low-income, place-bound students and trying to attract wealthier students who could choose to go to college elsewhere.
This special aired on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 10 AM and 8 PM.
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