Moon Shot for Equity
Kean is a Vanguard institution in a national partnership to advance diversity and inclusion in higher education.
At Kean University, we embrace and celebrate our longstanding mission to expand access and opportunity, and increase social mobility, for our students. Our diversity is our strength, and we welcome students from all backgrounds, especially those who have been marginalized, overlooked, or historically excluded. Our recent designation as New Jersey’s first Urban Research University reaffirms our commitment to equity and inclusion and positions us as a statewide leader in research and policy specifically for and about urban communities. As we continue down the path toward Carnegie R2 designation, we are creating new research opportunities for our students and intentionally recruiting diverse faculty as we embrace design thinking to enhance the student experience. We take square aim at persistence and graduation rates that must improve to fulfill our mission and vision.
As we pursue data-driven equity goals, we are embracing a new definition of ‘elite.’ Distinct from the definition embraced by Ivy League schools and the like, our definition of ‘elite’ is inclusive, expansive, forward-thinking, and forward-reaching. We imagine a world in which ‘elite’ is not incompatible with inclusivity, and students from all types of diverse backgrounds feel a sense of belonging as they receive a world-class education at Kean. By our definition, part of what makes us elite is how we uplift one another and our communities and provide all of our students, faculty, and staff with the tools and resources to succeed.
To advance toward our equity goals, we are joining EAB’s Moon Shot for Equity community to connect with an expansive network of like-minded universities committed to closing equity gaps. The Moon Shot for Equity model includes student-centered strategies to identify and remove systemic barriers to success for our students. The 15 evidence-based best practices utilized by the Moon Shot community fit seamlessly with our mission, vision, and a number of our existing initiatives. By coalescing around shared, data-driven goals, and collaborating around the hard work of transforming our systems, our community will work together to eliminate barriers to student success.
Hold reform ensures that students can navigate administrative processes more smoothly, reducing the likelihood of them dropping out or transferring to other institutions.
Proactive advising plays a crucial role in supporting college students throughout their academic journey. By proactively engaging with advisors, students can optimize their college experience and increase their chances of achieving their academic and career goals.
Collaboration and clear communication are pillars in our recipe for supporting student success at Kean University. Navigate will provide Kean advisors, faculty and administrators with a wide-range of tools offering streamlined and timely support for our students.
What is Moon Shot for Equity?
The Moon Shot for Equity is a public-private partnership focused on the elimination of equity gaps in higher education in the United States. EAB is partnering with national experts and community-based organizations to provide regional clusters of two- and four-year colleges and universities with research-backed best practices, policies, and technology.
Additionally, each region must commit to deploying the 15 best practices and policies proven both to substantially boost equity and to be mutually beneficial to their student populations. All colleges must agree to collect and share data, convene with the network quarterly, and adhere to the initiative and implementation timetable.
Why a regional focus?
As noted in Lumina Foundation's report titled A Stronger Nation, "Eight of every 10 Americans now live in cities or suburbs. To reach the 60 percent attainment goal, we must focus on these regions….[M]etro areas are fertile ground for the kinds of local collaborations that boost attainment."
The formation of local collaborations with government, community-based organizations, and employers will help boost college attainment. These regional collaborations between schools are also critical in order to establish common academic pathways that allow students to move between two- and four-year institutions and earn a degree more quickly and efficiently. Streamlining credit transfers between institutions and accelerating time to degree are significant aspects of the equity challenge.
What is Kean University's region?
Kean University is a Vanguard institution, the first in a new region to join the Moon Shot for Equity initiative. As a single institution leader, Kean will champion regional change and work with EAB to recognize areas for internal improvement, take the pulse of our community, and build the connections needed to provide student growth, success and value.
What is EAB's role?
EAB's role and responsibilities include the provision of these benefits across Moon Shot for Equity regions:
- Leadership Institute: Change Management and Equity Skill-Building: EAB will facilitate a cohort-based Leadership Institute to develop equity-minded practitioners armed with exceptional change management skills to uphold the Moon Shot principles and drive and sustain change throughout the region.
- Best Practice Research: Regions will have access to evidence-based best practices and policies that already have been deployed at scale across institutions, while rapidly contributing their own groundbreaking discoveries.
- Student Success Management System Technology: EAB will deploy at scale a common student success technology. This will create a nearly seamless approach and infrastructure to collectively identify obstacles, collaboratively design interventions, rapidly compare results, and urgently deliver improvements.
- Implementation Expertise and Project Management: EAB will provide regions with a dedicated consulting team tasked with providing regions with a structured, measurable, and deadline-driven timeline to implement practices and policies. As new areas of opportunity are determined for each region, EAB will work with ecosystems to provide technical experts and support.
- Data Transparency, Metrics Alignment, and Assessment: EAB will facilitate the use of common metrics for measurement, comparison, and assessment of our progress and success for rapid adjustment and improvement.
- Convenings: EAB will organize and convene equity regions virtually across the year to efficiently share results, engage in thoughtful discussions, and facilitate structured work sessions.
What is the role of the participants?
Two- and four-year colleges and universities within each region agree to implement the following best practices to create an institutionally focused and equity-minded approach to student success:
- Change Management
- Campus Climate Assessment
- Reduction of Registration Holds
- Retention Grants
- Aligned Mathematics
- Expanded Meta-Majors and Majors
- Remediation and Developmental Education Reform
- Academic Maps
- Streamlined Transfer Pathways
- Access to a Second Chance
- Proactive Advising Enabled by Technology
- Coordinated Care Network
- Confidence-Building and Belongingness
- College Access Partnership with Community-Based Organizations
How long will this initiative last?
Moon Shot for Equity partnerships will be active for five years.