CSUSM Partners with Congressman Scott Peters on D.C. Social Mobility Panel

May 23, 2024

Scott joined CSUSM for a panel on social mobility and reducing barriers for students, particularly those who are first-gen, students of color, or low-income. CSU San Marcos can serve as a model for student success to universities across the country!

Read more about it in this May 20th piece from CSUSM, posted below:

CSUSM Partners with Congressman Scott Peters on D.C. Social Mobility Panel

By Eric Breier

May 20, 2024

Cal State San Marcos, in partnership with Congressman Scott Peters, hosted a distinguished panel of experts in Washington, D.C., focused on the critical issue of social mobility in higher education.¬†Social mobility is vital because it reflects the impact colleges and universities provide for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to change their trajectory and achieve upward mobility¬†—¬†professionally, economically and personally.

The social mobility panel, attended by Capitol Hill leaders, California State University (CSU) Board Chair Wenda Fong, academia and local San Diego partners, focused on student success and empowering the next generation of changemakers. CSU Chancellor Mildred García shared a message of hope and the incredible impact of the CSU in serving America’s new majority: first-generation students, students of color and low-income students.

CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt moderated the panel of esteemed thought-leaders and described a landscape of why social mobility discussions and actions matters and the direct connection to workforce development. The discussion emphasized the importance of collaborating with leaders on Capitol Hill and agencies in Washington to drive policy change and implement effective models for universities to increase accessibility and promote equitable outcomes in higher education. President Neufeldt acknowledged Peters‚Äô invaluable support, stating, ‚ÄúWe are so grateful for the collaboration of Congressman Peters to invest his efforts into facilitating a powerful conversation to unlock barriers faced by our students and propel them into lifelong success.‚ÄĚ

Peters praised CSUSM‚Äôs unwavering commitment to advancing social mobility, citing that the university ranks in the top 1% in the nation in CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index. Unlike traditional rankings that prioritize exclusivity, the Social Mobility Index’s rankings show that CSUSM remains focused on student outcomes and prioritizes student success and community impact. This remains a high priority for CSU campuses among other nationally ranked universities that are committed to advancing social and economic equity.

The panel brought together experts from national organizations to illuminate actionable strategies to advance social mobility for students from all backgrounds. It highlighted the importance of tangible outcomes that show the value of education and its contribution to our economy and society.

Dr. Dietra Trent, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) provided compelling statistics that illustrate how impactful HBCUs have been in advancing the social mobility of their students. Dr. Trent stressed the need to meet students where they are to provide genuine value for their investment in education and their future.

From the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU), Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis Luis Maldonado described how AASCU institutions overwhelmingly serve the ‚Äúnew majority‚ÄĚ student population and deliver on America‚Äôs promise of opportunities for all. He agreed with Neufeldt on the importance of collaboration to advance educational equity, noting that social mobility initiatives require multifaceted efforts involving policy agendas and community advocacy.

Frank Ballman, the Director of Federal Relations at the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs, discussed the responsibility of universities to proactively advocate for financial aid. Ballman echoed sentiments to prioritize collaboration, especially between state and federal agencies to develop more effective strategies aimed at ensuring accessible and equitable education for students across all income levels.

As CSUSM continues to champion social mobility and student success, events like the social mobility panel are intended to invite diverse perspectives into the conversation and create solutions for a more equitable and inclusive society. Through collaboration and innovation, CSUSM is paving the way for a brighter future for every student.

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