Kean University Is First in NJ to Join National Moon Shot for Equity Partnership
As part of a longstanding commitment to diversity and equity in higher education, Kean University announced today it is the first university in New Jersey to join Moon Shot for Equity, a national network of colleges and universities committed to eliminating equity gaps in higher education by 2030.
Facilitated by EAB, a Washington D.C.-based education firm, Moon Shot for Equity promotes 15 research-based best practices designed to remove systemic barriers to student success and ensure that all students persist to graduation.
“By signing on as a vanguard institution in the Moon Shot for Equity partnership, Kean is leading the state in its commitment to taking decisive action that will reduce equity gaps and make a college degree more accessible,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “At Kean, we are redefining the meaning of an 'elite' education so it is inclusive, forward thinking and forward reaching.”
The 15 best practices to erase the equity gaps include training leaders in effective change management; providing equity-focused professional development, expanding community-based partnerships; offering retention grants for students in need; leveraging technology for proactive advising; fostering student belongingness; and more.
“Colleges and universities that are serious about erasing equity gaps must do the hard work required to remove systemic barriers that make it more difficult for students to succeed, especially those most often left behind,” said EAB’s Vice President of Partnerships Tom Sugar. “By becoming a vanguard in the Moon Shot for Equity initiative, President Repollet and his team have made a historic and public commitment to help lead the way forward to higher rates of college completion and more successful careers for all students.”
Moon Shot for Equity provides research-backed best practices, policies, and technology proven to reduce and eliminate equity gaps to help college students achieve their goals in less time, for less money, and with better career outcomes.
“The Moon Shot for Equity initiative is results oriented,” said Kean Board of Trustees Chair Steve Fastook. “It takes our already significant efforts to the next level and sets a course for fully achieving the access, opportunity and equity that we envision for our students.”
This year, Kean was named one of the most economically and ethnically diverse national universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine also ranked Kean as a top 50 national university for increasing social mobility of students, a measure recognizing the University’s success in supporting economically disadvantaged students throughout their path to graduation.
“Kean has always valued its diversity as a key strength for the university and our students,” said Senior Vice President for Administration Michael Salvatore, Ph.D. “We are proud of our record, but we know more needs to be done. By joining colleges and universities across the nation in the Moon Shot for Equity, Kean is embracing a data-driven approach so we can transform the lives of more deserving students through a world-class Kean education.”
About 90% of low-income, first-generation students across the nation do not graduate within six years, according to EAB.
“The 15 evidence-based Moon Shot best practices fit seamlessly with Kean’s mission, vision and a number of the University’s existing initiatives,” said Deputy Chief of Staff Itunu Balogun. “Working with EAB and our Moon Shot partner institutions, the Kean community will coalesce around shared, data-driven goals to reshape our systems so all Kean Cougars can continue to climb higher.”
Joining Moon Shot for Equity highlights a series of Kean initiatives that take aim at equity gaps in higher education. Kean’s designation as New Jersey’s first Urban Research University in 2021 reaffirmed the University’s commitment to equity and inclusion and positioned Kean as a statewide leader in research and policy specifically for and about urban communities. Kean is also on a path toward achieving Carnegie R2 status, leading to new research opportunities for students.
“Our goal is to save our students time and money on the path to achieve their educational and career goals,” said Neva Lozada, Ed.D., Kean’s Assistant Vice President of Administration. “Kean is making a commitment to invest the resources to provide all of our students, faculty and staff with the tools they need to succeed.”