College Fund Joins Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions in Campaign

September 6, 2016

The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) joins The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) and its partners in announcing a new data-driven national campaign focused on spreading factual awareness of the return on investment (ROI) of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The campaign follows on the heels of the National MSI Return on Investment Convening co-hosted by CMSI and Educational Testing Service as well as the convening’s follow-up report, Investing in Student Success: The Return on Investment of Minority Serving Institutions.

The campaign launches today and will run for a full year with the tagline, “52 weeks, 52 data points.” The data points have been curated and contextualized by CMSI researchers as well as their organizational partners in order to highlight the many significant yet largely unknown contributions of MSIs in the field of higher education.

The campaign’s goals are to bring more attention to MSIs, highlight the contributions of MSIs among higher education practitioners and general audiences, dispel common misperceptions about MSIs, and motivate scholars to conduct more data-driven research related to MSIs. MSIs disproportionately serve low-income and first-generation students as well as students of color yet often experience relatively high success (i.e., ROI) despite fewer financial resources.

“Understanding the complex and unique return on investment for MSIs is essential as these institutions serve the new majority in higher education. There is much that we can all learn from their impact and approaches to student learning and community uplift,” said Marybeth Gasman, Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Professionally designed social media images will be the primary method by which CMSI and their partners will distribute the data points, but a culminating document that brings together all of the data points will also be released widely at the end of the campaign. CMSI also hopes to work with traditional media outlets throughout the campaign to elaborate on some of the important data trends identified through their research.

Sixteen partners have joined the campaign to spread the data points through their respective networks and include the following organizations: American Council on Education; CIEE: Council for International Educational Exchange; American Indian College Fund; Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Educational Testing Service; Institute for Higher Education Policy; Diverse; Noodle; HBCU Lifestyle; HBCU Nation; Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund; The Sullivan Alliance; National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education; American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education; and Human Rights Campaign.

“Collecting all of the data for the campaign was a rigorous and collaborative process,” said Casey Boland, a Research Associate at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and one of the campaign’s data specialists. “But that made it all the more important—spreading evidence-based data is one of the best ways to change people’s minds about all the great opportunities that MSIs really offer to students, especially those who need it most.”

About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. For further information about CMSI, please visit www.gse.upenn.edu/cmsi.