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Kaplan Educational Foundation : Honors Brown University for Its Commitment to Access and Inclusion

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06/21/2017 | 04:51pm CEST

Brown’s President Christina Paxson and Dean Maitrayee Bhattacharyya will be honored at gala event in New York City on Wednesday, June 21

The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF), which helps disadvantaged minority community college students complete their associate’s degrees and transfer to top U.S. colleges and universities, will present its 2017 College Partner Award to Brown University.

Christina Paxson, the 19th president of Brown University, and Maitrayee Bhattacharyya, Brown’s Senior Associate Dean of the College for Diversity and Inclusion, will accept the award at the Foundation’s annual gala on June 21 in New York City.

The Award recognizes Brown University’s long-standing efforts to increase access among diverse students, including community college transfers and those from disadvantaged communities, by committing resources, developing support programs, and fostering a campus culture that meaningfully includes these students in all facets of the academic experience. A centerpiece initiative is Brown’s Resumed Undergraduate Education (R.U.E.) Program, which offers enrollment and support services to older students returning to college at least six years after high school.

Two Kaplan Educational Foundation Scholars currently attend Brown, and a third graduated in 2015 and is returning this fall to begin graduate studies at Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School. Two more Scholars will enter Brown as undergraduates this fall. All of these Scholars graduated from community colleges within the City University of New York.

“We’re so proud to honor President Paxson, Dean Bhattacharyya and Brown University who have demonstrated real progress in increasing access and making Brown a truly diverse environment,” said Melissa Mack, chairman of the Foundation and chief communications officer at global educational services company Kaplan, Inc. “The Kaplan Educational Foundation helps hardworking, talented community college graduates successfully transfer to top four-year college programs and fulfill their educational, career and life’s dreams. Brown University has been a great partner in the Foundation’s mission.”

“At Brown, it is an article of faith that diverse perspectives and life experiences are what drive academic excellence, innovation and the advancement of knowledge,” President Paxson said. “It is clear that we share these values with the Kaplan Educational Foundation, which helps brilliant, highly motivated young people to achieve their full potential. I am truly humbled by their choice to honor Brown.”

The KEF is an independent charity created in 2006 and principally funded by employees of Kaplan, Inc., the global educational services company and largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC).

For the past decade, the KEF’s Kaplan Leadership Program has been at the vanguard of helping high-achieving community college students from underrepresented communities successfully transfer to top colleges and universities such as Brown, Stanford, Harvard, Syracuse, Emory, Mount Holyoke, New York University, Morehouse, Amherst, Cornell, and others. Through a combination of generous financial support and wraparound counseling, tutoring and support services, the Kaplan Leadership Scholars attain remarkable outcomes: 87% earn an associate’s degree and 92% of them go on to transfer to a four-year college; all KEF alumni are employed in their field of study or are currently enrolled in graduate school.

The Kaplan Leadership Program’s model seeks to fill a gap, ensuring low-income, high-potential community college students of color successfully complete their associate’s degree and go on to earn a four-year college degree. In demographic terms, Kaplan Leadership Scholars range in age from 18 to 37 years old and almost all are Pell Grant eligible. Most are the first in their families to attend college.

Nationally, the challenges facing low-income, first-generation students are steep; only 12% of minority community college students transfer to a four-year institution within four years of enrolling and only seven percent complete a bachelor’s degree within 10 years. The Foundation’s experience proves the effectiveness of financial resources and, more importantly, comprehensive, high-touch support systems these students may lack in their secondary education or home experiences.

There are currently ten cohorts of Kaplan Leadership Scholars, with selection for an eleventh cohort underway. This includes 17 active Scholars in the program and 35 alumni. Since the program’s inception, 30 percent of program alumni have enrolled or completed graduate degrees from schools such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the NYU Silver School of Social Work, and Stanford University. Alumni are employed in various fields, from education to medicine to scientific research to finance and marketing.

About the Kaplan Educational Foundation

The Kaplan Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity launched in 2006 with funding from Kaplan, Inc. executives. Its comprehensive program provides financial aid, academic support, leadership skills development, and cultural enrichment for low-income, high-potential, underrepresented community college students seeking to transfer to highly selective four-year schools. For more information about the Foundation, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, please visit www.kaplanedfoundation.org.

About Brown University

Located in historic Providence, R.I., and founded in 1764, Brown University is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution and the seventh-oldest college in the U.S. Brown is a leading research university where talented students and accomplished faculty collaborate to blend deep content knowledge across many disciplines to address the defining challenges of a complex and changing world. At the heart of the University’s teaching, research and scholarship is a commitment to academic excellence, intellectual freedom and making an impact to better serve people, communities and society. The University is home to undergraduate and graduate programs plus the Alpert Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Engineering and the School of Professional Studies.

© Business Wire 2017
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