Chancellor Martin Participates in ‘Raise the B.A.R.’ Summit


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. is among the leaders who participated in the U.S. Department of Education’s Raise the B.A.R.: Bold + Action + Results in College Excellence & Equity Summit, where Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced the availability of $5 million to support a new College Completion Fund for Postsecondary Student Success.

The funding will support grants to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) such as Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) – many of which are community colleges – to invest in data-driven and evidence-based reforms that encourage postsecondary retention, transfer and completion. Institutions are specifically invited to focus on supporting existing students who are close to graduation and reengaging students who withdrew from school temporarily during the pandemic.

Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr.More than 40 colleges and universities were represented at the one-day summit in Washington, D.C., where Martin shared N.C. A&T’s perspective on reimagining higher education. Leaders at the event, including White House representatives, discussed opportunities to uplift inclusivity, equity, and excellence – rather than exclusivity and privilege – in our higher education system and share their experiences in reforming higher education to promote stronger outcomes, particularly for their students of color and low-income students.

“When we look at North Carolina A&T’s special impact as a doctoral research university, we see that its entering class in Fall 2020 included more Black students than UNC-Chapel Hill, Cornell, University of Virginia and Southern Cal combined. Those are the nation’s four leading national universities, all predominately white institutions, by share of Black students in their entering class,” Martin said. “Because we are growing enrollment even as we raise graduation rates, we are now producing more Black graduates in engineering, agriculture, journalism and liberal studies than any university in the nation. And because our university has pronounced strengths in STEM disciplines, we are making significant contributions beyond our size to the diversity of the nation’s critical-need STEM workforce.”

Additionally, the department announced plans to extend its Project Success initiative, which was set to expire next month, for an additional three-year period. Through Project Success, more than 200 HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, including HSIs, receive access to resources and support services to help improve their students’ outcomes. The extension announced today will enable the Department to continue the initiative and increase its focus on evidence-based strategies, including through capacity-building networks focused in improving student success.

“For far too long, our higher education system has left our nation’s most accessible, inclusive colleges without adequate resources to support student success, while many institutions chase rankings that reward privilege and selectivity over equity and upward mobility,” said Cardona. “Reimagining higher education means rejecting a status quo in which so many students earn some college credits but no degree, leaving them with student debt they cannot afford and less access to good-paying jobs. (This) summit demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s belief that investments in college completion can level up our entire higher education system and help more students from communities of color and other low-income and underserved communities make it to commencement day.”

The funds provided through the College Completion Fund for Postsecondary Student Success are the latest action in the Department’s continued commitment to ensuring student success, particularly for students of color and low-income students. The Department has continued to improve upon and provide high-quality information about student outcomes through the College Scorecard, improving student choice about higher education.

The U.S. Education Department continues to lift up inclusive institutions and has proposed billions of dollars in new funding for HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs, and community colleges. It is also working to promote innovation at colleges and universities across the country, including by requesting $110 million from Congress for the upcoming fiscal year to support additional retention and completion grants.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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