NEW YORK, NY-February 28, 2013 – Baruch College has been awarded a $160,000 grant from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation in support of a study on undergraduate education. Dr. Stan Altman, professor of Public Affairs, is leading the project to explore new ways to address the needs of undergraduates in higher education.
Dr. Altman, who is also campus director of Baruch’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Program for preparing students for careers in the non-profit sector, is leading a pioneering partnership between Baruch College and the Rubin Museum of Art, and is co-PI of a U.S. State Department funded project in climate control education for Pan Asian countries.
“This is the first time that the Rubin Foundation has given us this grant,” Dr. Altman said. “We look forward to exploring the kinds of experiences that undergraduate students are having across the nation.”
In the grant proposal, the team identified challenges in undergraduate education that are most common in U.S. colleges and universities. These challenges will be addressed during the study:
• The opportunities a college degree provided earlier generations are not available to the current generation of college graduates.
• Less than 45% of undergraduate students graduate and even those students who graduate often do not have a sense of who they are, what values are important to them, and what responsibilities they have as members of a civil society.
• Tuition is going up, and students are graduating with high levels of debt, constraining their career choices and limiting their opportunities to improve their lives.
Dr. Altman said the overall goal of the project is to foster a new paradigm of undergraduate education, to empower students to pursue their passions, to address issues of social change and social justice, invention and creativity.
In addition to partnering with The Rubin Foundation, Baruch will be working with representatives from IBM and other groups on this project.
“We are going to bring in thought leaders who are out there trying to change the way undergraduate education is delivered,” Dr. Altman said. “Our plan is to spend a year fostering forums and discussions, building a community of academics, writers, and philanthropists who can help us analyze and judge the best efforts we can identify. At the same time, we will ask this study group to recommend mechanisms – contests, prizes, financial and work incentives, and reform movements – that offer the quickest pathways to change.”
At the end of the first year, Dr. Altman said the research team will make recommendations that will be used for a strategic plan to address how the undergraduate education experience can be enhanced.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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