Education - Page 1 - Attracting and retaining students

- Page 1
Attracting and retaining students
New programs meet the needs of underserved students

By Megan Weeden, Contributing Writer

The humanities teach students essential skills needed in today’s diverse world – empathy, cultural awareness and how to be flexible thinkers, creative problem solvers and effective communicators.

One way colleges and universities keep the humanities relevant is by offering diverse programs that attract both new and underserved students.

For students interested in the humanities, Community College of Baltimore County offers a unique opportunity for an enriched, dynamic academic experience.

The Humanities for All Initiative is a partnership with Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and was created with support from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. While it seeks to help community college students transition smoothly to four-year colleges where they can complete a bachelor’s in the humanities, it’s open to all CCBC students.

As part of the program, students attend topical lectures and symposiums; take humanitiesthemed courses designed to improve critical thinking, problem-solving and cultural perspectives; engage in enrichment activities including service-learning and arts festivals; attend lectures by renowned Johns Hopkins University humanities faculty; study abroad; and go on field trips to theaters, museums and historical societies.

“The goal of the partnership is for us to be able to expose our students here at the Community College of Baltimore County to the humanities early and often through high-impact practices and opportunities,” says Monica Walker, Ed.D., dean of developmental education and special academic programs. “Students are able to engage in experiences they might not have otherwise – to travel, study abroad and to experience cultural sites, museums and go to lectures on various topics. It’s just a wide-range of opportunities that the initiative is affording them.”

Students admitted into the CCBC Honors Program can participate in an immersive classroom experience, where the student is paired with a JHU graduate for deep reading exercises; the Mellon Scholars Lecture Series, which includes special topical lectures; and are eligible to apply for the selective Mellon Scholar summer research experience, a 10-week paid residential program at the JHU campus.

University of Maryland is looking to attract new and underserved students to the field of computing with its Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing.

With a $1 million gift from Brendan Iribe, the initiative builds on current programming by the Maryland Center for Women in Computing, which has provided a variety of opportunities for female students at UMD and local K-12 schools to engage in computing activities since 2014 and emphasizes inclusion for students of all genders and backgrounds.

Programming offered by the new initiative includes tutoring for required introductory

New programs, continued on page 6