Closing the College Education Gap

The national Moon Shot for Equity project addresses disparities in education equity. Local schools are getting on board.
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Four Cincinnati-area schools have joined a national initiative called Moon Shot for Equity that aims to close equity gaps within regional cohorts of two- and four-year colleges and universities by 2030. Miami University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Northern Kentucky University, and Gateway Community and Technical College have partnered to provide equity-minded education, advance student success, and serve as a regional model to other institutions worldwide. 

Photograph by Wayhome Studio, stock.adobe.com

Research shows barely half of all Black and Latinx students who attend college earn their undergraduate degree in six years compared to 70 percent of white students. Data also shows that first-generation students and those from low-income families graduate from college at significantly lower rates than those from more privileged backgrounds. Without a degree, students who drop out are far more likely to struggle to pay off student debt. 

Leaders from the initiative’s partner schools hope to address these disparities and eliminate persistent equity gaps at colleges and universities by developing cohesive equity plans based on best practices, policies, and technology. 

The national partnership, which groups colleges into regions, is led by the Education Advisory Board (EAB), a Washington, D.C.- based education firm. The four Cincinnati member schools will share resources and ideas, while EAB will provide research, technology, and advisory services. Each of the project’s regional clusters must commit to carrying out at least 15 research-based best practices and policies to boost equity while mutually benefitting the needs of students. These best practices can range from updating academic policies to providing equity training. 

It’s all part of EAB’s national effort to increase the number of college graduates from historically underrepresented populations, including students of color. By providing programs tailored to each student’s academic and financial needs, the organization helps ensure students are set up for success before they enter college, as well as after graduation. Ultimately, local member schools hope Moon Shoot will produce more college graduates with improved career outcomes, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. 

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