The Yes We Must Coalition has several collaborative projects underway right now that are open to any member institution.
Yes We Must is a coalition of smaller institutions of higher learning that focuses in a particular way on the needs of at-risk and underprepared students, most of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds of one kind or another. Engagement with Yes We Must colleagues is invariably student-focused, hands-on, and collaborative. I found the relationships shared with other members to be highly satisfying and most productive. Most importantly, Yes We Must members don’t just talk! They collaborate to ensure their students’ success. They walk the talk!
Daniel Lowery, Past President, Calumet College of St. Joseph
Online Consortium. This consortium allows students at any member institution to take online courses offered by any other member institution. We are matching curricular needs so that there is some predictability to the offerings. The student pays regular tuition to the home institution, which pays $500 per course to the hosting institution. Support for low-income students: speed time to completion through course availability; face-to-face support from home institution and personalization from receiving institution to increase success.
Data for Decision-Making. This project is for all members to track their students who entered in fall 2015. Attention is paid to measuring variables associated with success for low-income students. These data can be run for Pell-eligible students to compare with non-Pell as well as other sub-group comparisons. In addition, we provide a peer comparison on all variables with the other YWMC schools. Support for low-income students: the examination of these data will point the way for evidence-based institutional change.
Making Clear Curricular Pathways to Completion. This initiative was originally supported by The Teagle Foundation. We are now extending the collaboration to all members. Support for low-income students: a clear, coherent, non-repetitive, accessible sequence of courses is correlated with low-income student persistence.
Seeking the Voice of our Students. Two initiatives have been designed to listen to the wisdom of our students about how to make their college journey smoother and more likely to end in completion. The first is the Fellows Program, which brings together students and faculty to engage in research on inequity in higher education and make recommendations to their institutions. The second is the Senior Student Feedback project, which involves focus groups with seniors during which they offer advice to their institutions. Support for low-income students: becoming engaged in the process of change necessary for more low-income success.
College to Career Networks. Members are interested in building regional and national networks of support for assistance with preparation of students throughout their time in college for taking the next employment or study steps beyond graduation. Support for low-income students: this extension of the pathway through college to after graduation is a necessary responsibility of higher education to promote employment and life-long learning for career success.
Student Exchange Program. This program allows students enrolled at member schools to spend time on the campus of another member school in a different geographic and cultural setting while receiving the personalized support they have at their home institution. Support for low-income students: an opportunity to explore a new learning environment, on a welcoming campus, at a low cost.
Practices Exchange Newsletter. Launched during the past year, the newsletter is open to contributions from any member institution and is a way to share best practices among YWMC membership.