I am pleased to announce that Marist is joining the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a consortium of top colleges and universities committed to expanding opportunity and access to higher education. The goal of ATI is to enroll and graduate 50,000 additional highly talented, low- and moderate-income students by 2025.
The invitation to join ATI is a great honor for the College, as it gives us an opportunity to help address issues of income inequality and social mobility in the United States. There is incredible untapped talent in many of our nation’s communities, and ATI seeks to harness it by expanding students’ access to top-performing institutions, where they are most likely to graduate. Membership in ATI is limited to high-performing colleges and universities that graduate at least 70 percent of their students within six years. As such, this initiative allows Marist to partner with some of the country’s most prestigious schools, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford.
ATI’s focus will be three-fold: 1) a sustained national campaign to raise awareness about the talent in low-income communities and create momentum among higher education leaders to act on improving access and success for lower-income students; 2) setting aspirational, measurable goals to reach our national target of 50,000 additional students by 2025 and sustaining that increase thereafter; and 3) research and knowledge dissemination to identify and promote replication of effective practices and elevate ATI member efforts.
ATI is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, working in concert with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R. I am proud to join with my fellow college presidents to find practical and results-oriented solutions to the challenge of access to higher education. We know that this country is at its best when every young person has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and play a constructive role in our society. As Marist begins its work with ATI, I look forward to updating you on our progress. You can learn more about ATI at http://americantalentinitiative.org.