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updated: 1/22/2014 11:30 AM

College of DuPage Announces New Position to Enhance Recruitment and Success of African American Students

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COD News Bureau

As college and university presidents gather with President Obama to launch a campaign to encourage low income students to attend college, College of DuPage announced today a series of measures it has taken to ensure student success.

College of DuPage is piloting a new initiative to better work with the African American community to grow enrollments and boost academic success among African American students. The newly created Interim Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion will improve outreach, support and community/campus engagement of currently enrolled African American students. The new position will work to improve campus culture as it relates to embracing and understanding diversity as well as emphasize outreach to African American high school and non-traditional age students in communities with a substantial or increasing number of African American students.

Among the new position's duties will be to advise and assist in targeted African American student outreach, identify and build relationships with key community organizations for African American populations, and to assist in the development and implementation of retention programs for the African American student population to promote student success.

Other initiatives taken by College of DuPage include having launched the Enhanced Student Experience Implementation Plan in 2012 with a focus on service excellence and enhanced counseling. Among the many outcomes of this robust process, the counselor and the student together now develop a personalized Student Educational Plan, leading to students enrolling in more classes and taking them in the correct sequence.

"Because of this renewed focus on student success, the College has demonstrated an increase in enrollment growth, especially among underrepresented student populations," said President Robert L. Breuder. In fall 2013, College of DuPage saw a 6.1 percent increase in African American Student headcount, 20.7 percent increase in Hispanic/Latino headcount and 15.5% increase in Pacific Islanders.

Other efforts to enhance student success include expanding recruiting efforts of underrepresented student populations including first generation students, developing a Black Student Leadership Conference, participating in multiple 2+2 and 3+1 programs to allow students to seamlessly earn baccalaureate degrees from four-year partner institutions, supporting the COD Latino Outreach Center, forming a Student Web and Online Tools team to improve students' ability to know their next steps in becoming an enrolled student, and incorporating enhanced web technology to more readily answer student questions.

"These are just some of the many initiatives College of DuPage is taking to ensure that every student who wants to earn a college degree can do so," said President Breuder. "We can never cease examining how best to attract and serve our various student populations."