President Speaks: 7 ways to build a better career launchpad for low-income students


Originally published in Education Dive

By Adam Weinberg and Laurel Kennedy

Our mission as college educators is to bring together capable students from a wide variety of backgrounds and equip them with knowledge and skills they need to achieve personal, professional and civic success.

However, the post-graduation experience is not always as successful as we wish, especially for first-generation students from low-income backgrounds. National data underscores that, despite their college degrees, this group of students faces a variety of obstacles that slow their professional attainment.

At Denison, we have been tracking the career outcomes of our students in a highly granular way for the last seven years. During this period, we have conducted surveys, interviews and focus groups to understand our students’ early career transitions, points of career acceleration and the barriers to career launch they have encountered.

What we have learned may be helpful to other institutions that share our commitment to early, positive career outcomes for all students. We know there are clear differences in career paths for more well-off students versus their lower-income and first-generation college peers. As we work to narrow that gap, these strategies are making a difference.

Read the full article at Education Dive

Adam Weinberg is the president of Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Laurel Kennedy is the vice president for student development.