Higher ed­u­ca­tion note­book

UA, two groups to aid Mar­shallese sav­ings

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - AZIZA MUSA

A univer­sity and two non­profit groups have part­nered with the Arkansas 529 Col­lege In­vest­ing Plan in an ef­fort to help the Mar­shallese and Pa­cific Is­lan­der com­mu­ni­ties in North­west Arkansas.

The Univer­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville School of So­cial Work is team­ing up with the Arkansas Coali­tion of Mar­shallese and the Economic Op­por­tu­nity Agency on the Child Sav­ings Ac­count Pro­gram, which will give $100 in seed money to 200 Mar­shallese chil­dren for an ed­u­ca­tion sav­ings ac­count, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the state trea­surer’s of­fice. The trea­surer’s of­fice op­er­ates the state 529 plan pro­gram.

The United Way of North­west Arkansas and the Winthrop Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion do­nated the money for the pro­gram, the re­lease states. The funds — which are avail­able for chil­dren from birth to age 18 — can be used for higher ed­u­ca­tion or job train­ing costs, the re­lease states. Fam­i­lies are el­i­gi­ble to add an­other $100 to the sav­ings ac­count if they at­tend fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion classes or sign up for di­rect de­posit, the re­lease states.

ASU ad­min­is­tra­tor adds to job du­ties

An Arkansas State Univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tor has taken on a new role.

Jill Si­mons is mov­ing from as­sis­tant vice chan­cel­lor for un­der­grad­u­ate stud­ies to as­so­ci­ate vice chan­cel­lor for re­ten­tion and com­ple­tion, the univer­sity said in a news re­lease. She will con­tinue her old du­ties in the new po­si­tion, which in­cludes a pay raise from $117,300 to $120,300, the univer­sity said.

“With the chan­cel­lor’s new ini­tia­tive to in­crease our stu­dent re­ten­tion rates, Dr. Si­mons was the per­fect choice to head up the new com­mis­sion,” ASU Provost Lynita Cook­sey said in a state­ment. “She was our leader in many ar­eas that are com­po­nents of this ini­tia­tive, and by pro­mot­ing her to be­come our des­ig­nated cam­pus point per­son we can keep a con­tin­ued fo­cus on stu­dent suc­cess.”

In her new role, Si­mons will lead Chan­cel­lor Kelly Dam­p­housse’s Com­mis­sion on Com­ple­tion, which seeks to in­crease the univer­sity’s re­ten­tion and grad­u­a­tion rates. She will also over­see stu­dent aca­demic con­cerns, re­view aca­demic poli­cies re­lated to stu­dent com­ple­tion and serve as the li­ai­son for stu­dent pro­gram­ming for the provost, the news re­lease states.

First in fam­ily aided by school’s pro­gram

Hen­der­son State Univer­sity is work­ing with a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion to help prospec­tive and cur­rent low-in­come, first-gen­er­a­tion col­lege stu­dents.

The Arkadel­phia school has part­nered with Strive for Col­lege to help the 52 per­cent of un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents who are the first in their fam­i­lies to go to col­lege, the univer­sity said. The col­lab­o­ra­tion — which costs $1,500 an­nu­ally — in­cludes peer learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties, in which col­leges can share best prac­tices and suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives for re­cruit­ing and re­tain­ing first-gen­er­a­tion stu­dents, and a vir­tual men­tor­ing pro­gram that will con­nect prospec­tive stu­dents with men­tors for one-to-one guid­ance for ad­mis­sions and fi­nan­cial aid pro­cesses, the univer­sity said.

The univer­sity is work­ing with alumni and the cam­pus com­mu­nity to be men­tors.

“We of­ten take for granted that stu­dents un­der­stand the tran­si­tion from high school to col­lege and know the steps they need to take to suc­cess­fully com­plete a de­gree,” said Brett Pow­ell, the univer­sity’s vice pres­i­dent for fi­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion. “For first-gen­er­a­tion col­lege stu­dents, this is of­ten not the case be­cause they do not have fam­ily mem­bers to guide them.”

The part­ner­ship is the lat­est ini­tia­tive the univer­sity is un­der­tak­ing to help all stu­dents, es­pe­cially those who are un­der­rep­re­sented or first-gen­er­a­tion.

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