For Immediate Release
November 16, 2010
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or email@example.com
University of Maryland Hosts Netherlands Delegation Focused on Diversity
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland's Academic Achievement Programs, and strong efforts to promote educational excellence and diversity will go under a Dutch microscope November 18. A delegation of some 20 representatives from the Netherlands - including institutions of higher education, research agencies and possibly a member of the Dutch Parliament will be on campus for the day to learn more about Maryland's programs to help non-traditional students succeed academically and to promote diversity.
Jerry L. Lewis (right) is the executive director of Academic Achievement Programs for the University of Maryland and is overseeing the day-long event. He said Maryland has an international reputation for successfully combining academic achievement and diversity. Lewis adds that the Dutch delegation wants to learn what Maryland is doing so they can bring that success story back to the Netherlands - which is facing its own difficulties with non-traditional students.
The Academic Achievement Programs, along with the other Federal TRIO precollege programs - Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search - have a long standing model of success for access, skill enhancement, retention support and academic success with this population of students. "We look on it as a moral and social responsibility for a university like Maryland to help students who are traditionally under represented," he said. "We are focused on helping these students stay in college and graduate so they can lead productive lives."
Lewis points to retention rates for non-traditional students enrolled in Academic Achievement Programs attending Maryland. For the last decade, the programs succeeded in keeping students in school at higher first year percentage rate than the general population. This past year (2008 cohort), the second year retention rate was separated by just six tenths of a percent.
Vice-Executive Director Irene Wolff-Kinneging of ECHO - the Center for Diversity Policy of The Netherlands said, "Our main interest in coming to the US and to the University of Maryland is because we want to learn from institutions that embrace diversity."Institutions of higher education in the Netherlands are experiencing an increase in student populations with an ethnic minority background - especially in urban areas. "Not everyone in higher education is aware yet that this is the new reality," says Wolff-Kinneging. She said that means there's a need for a "Change of mindset to invest in an inclusive college environment on all aspects: learning environment; working environment; policy; practice; communication."
The AAP's Lewis says the day-long series of meetings and discussions aims to help the Dutch delegation understand how the University of Maryland works to provide academic support, keep retention rates high, and move unrepresented low-income and first generation students towards graduation and success. "We want to show them that excellence and diversity can go hand-in-hand," he says.
All events will be held at the Riggs Alumni Center on campus. The schedule includes:
8:45 - 9:15 - Welcome: University of Maryland's Strategic Plan : Excellence and Diversity as Institutional Mission and Practice
9:15 - 10:30 - Access and Educational Opportunity: Retention, Excellence Diversity and Graduation
10:30 - 10:50 - Enrollment Management: Recruitment Priorities and Strategies for Success
11:05 - 11:30 - UMD Diversity Plan: From Mission and Words Into Action
12:15 - 1:45 - Open Dialogue Lunch
1:45 - 2:30 - Deans' Panel: Implementing Policy, Practice, and Institutional Priorities Related to Diversity and Excellence at the College Level
2:30 - 3:30 - Panel: Excellence and Diversity from Academic Theory and Research into Policy and Practices in the Classroom
3:45 - 4:15 - Diversity: Recruitment, Support and Retention at the Graduate Level followed by Closing, Questions and Answers
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