A new video on student success for low-income and first-generation students highlights two outstanding black colleges—Johnson C. Smith University and Delaware State University—“who are experimenting with exciting new ways to serve these at-risk students.”
Released by Bill Gates on his GatesNotes.com website last week, the two-minute video depicts America’s richest man “meeting students where they are” and embracing them.
In the video, Gates talks about JCSU and DSU efforts to help students who may not had a great high school experience, challenging other four-year schools to try to figure out how to help these students enroll in higher education programs and complete their degrees.
“Encouraging more low-income and first-generation college students to get college degrees is critical—not just for the students themselves, but for the health of America’s economy,” Gates said in a blog on his website. “By 2025, two-thirds of all jobs in the US will require education beyond high school.”
“At the current rate the US is producing college graduates, however, the country is expected to face a shortfall of 11 million skilled workers to fill those roles over the next 10 years,” he said.
Both presidents of the black colleges, Dr. Ronald Carter and Dr. Harry Williams, have met with Gates and his foundation officials earlier this month, reports the DSU Newsroom: “The Gates Foundation is closely following DSU’s cutting edge Individualized Development Plan (IDP) Initiative – which has been launched with the Fall 2016 freshmen class – and is supporting the University’s rigorous assessment of it through a $1.2 million grant.”
Gates said he’s keeping tabs on these schools and believes “they are transforming lives.”