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Institute for Higher Education Policy and Walmart Foundation Select 2010 Walmart Minority Student Success Institutions

Second Cohort of Schools Continue Work to Increase Access and Succes for First-Generation College Students

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2010 —The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and the Walmart Foundation announced today the second cohort of Walmart Minority Student Success institutions. Through the awards program, 30 minority-serving institutions (MSIs)—Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities—each receive $100,000 grants to help build on programs that support first-generation students.

Selected through a highly competitive application process, the 2010 cohort of Walmart Minority Student Success institutions each has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing its capacity to retain and graduate first-generation college students. The second cohort of 15 colleges and universities will begin working together at the 2010 IHEP Summer Academy—being held at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, July 19-23—which is an annual gathering of institutional teams working to improve access and success for historically underserved student populations in higher education through new and refined campus policies and practices.

The 2010 cohort of Walmart Minority Student Success institutions include: 

  • Adams State College (Colo.)
  • Bloomfield College (N.J.)
  • Bowie State University (Md.)
  • Coppin State University (Md.)
  • Delaware State University
  • El Camino College (Calif.)
  • Fort Belknap College (Mont.)
  • Hampton University (Va.)
  • Leech Lake Tribal College (Minn.)
  • New Jersey City University
  • United Tribes Technical College (N.D.)
  • University of Houston- Downtown (Texas)
  • University of New Mexico
  • Valencia Community College (Fla.)
  • Winston-Salem State University (N.C.)


“The institutions in our 2010 Minority Student Success cohort broaden and deepen the pool of MSIs committed to ensuring the success of the first-generation student success both at their campuses and beyond,” said IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. “We are pleased to be working with them on programs that are sure to serve as models to all of higher education.”

The Walmart Foundation grants supports the existing work of MSIs to strengthen first-generation student success programs, with a special focus on classroom practices and the role faculty play in their students’ academic success. Approximately 41 percent of students enrolled at MSIs are first-generation, compared to 30 percent of students at Predominantly White Institutions. The overrepresentation of first-generation students at MSIs make them ideal to help improve retention and persistence gaps for this student population.

“The Walmart Foundation is committed to helping our nation’s young adults live better—supporting programs that provide access to higher education is a key part of our commitment,” said Walmart Foundation President Margaret McKenna.  “We are confident that our partnership with IHEP and MSIs will positively impact many first-generation college students and assure their academic success.”

This year’s cohort now joins the efforts of the 2009 cohort of Walmart Minority Student Success institutions, which began work at the 2009 IHEP Summer Academy. The first cohort of Walmart Minority Student Success institutions is now in the implementation phase of the project, which include the schools making changes to their curriculum, pedagogy, structures, and policies to better support and graduate first-generation students.

A list of all participating Walmart Minority Student Success institutions—along with a brief description of each institutional project work—are available on the IHEP Web site at www.ihep.org/walmartminoritystudents.cfm.  For more information about other IHEP programmatic activities regarding first-generation students, visit www.ihep.org.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is an independent, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in postsecondary education around the world. Established in 1993, the Washington, D.C.-based organization uses unique research and innovative programs to inform key decision makers who shape public policy and support economic and social development. IHEP’s web site, www.Ihep.org, features an expansive collection of higher education information available free of charge and provides access to some of the most respected professionals in the fields of public policy and research.

Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Wal-mart—and its domestic and international foundations—gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. to learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.