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Elementary students working in class

Tripathi joins coalition in support of strengthening K-12 curricula

By JOHN DELLACONTRADA

Published June 12, 2014

“Strengthening the preparation of U.S. K-12 students will help them succeed on our nation’s college campuses, as well as prepare them for successful lives and careers after they graduate from college.”
President Satish K. Tripathi

President Satish K. Tripathi has joined more than 200 college and university leaders from 30 states in a new coalition, Higher Ed for Higher Standards, mobilizing support for strengthening K-12 standards and curricula in our nation’s schools.

“It is important that higher education leaders nationwide join together to support strengthening K-12 standards and curriculum in our states,” says Tripathi.  “Strengthening the preparation of U.S. K-12 students will help them succeed on our nation’s college campuses, as well as prepare them for successful lives and careers after they graduate from college.”

Nationwide, approximately 20 percent of students entering four-year institutions are diverted into remedial coursework due to lack of academic preparedness. Of those, a little more than a third complete bachelor’s degrees in six years.

UB’s six-year graduation rate is 72 percent. Nationally, the six-year graduation rate for public research universities is 56.5 percent. UB, Tripathi notes, has a strong focus on programs to retain students and improve four- and six-year graduation rates. For example, UB’s Finish in 4 program pledges to provide entering UB freshmen with the academic resources they need to graduate in four years by providing a “roadmap” of what courses to take and when, and what grades and other requirements must be met, as well as regular academic, career and financial advisement to enable students to complete their degrees on time.

UB also offers programs for under-prepared students or academically at-risk students who are not eligible for regular admission to the university. UB’s Access to College Excellence (ACE) Program welcomes a broad range of academically talented students and provides support services to students for their first two years to help them maximize their abilities, facilitate the transition from high school to college and ensure successful entry into an academic major at UB. 

UB’s Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides an avenue for admission and means of support for talented students who have not reached their full academic potential. The EOP Summer Program is a four-week residential program designed to help students prepare for their freshman year of study and adjust to UB’s environment and culture.

Tripathi points out that UB also is leading several initiatives to strengthen curricula, learning and college preparation in Western New York schools. These include:

  • UB’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP), which is developing hands-on learning programs in science and technology in the Buffalo Public Schools as a way to help prepare students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics in college. 
  • The university’s Buffalo Partnership Project, which provides teachers at Lafayette High School with techniques to better teach refugee children fundamental skills in writing and social studies. The program emphasizes using some of the latest technology to reach students in ways traditional methods have failed.
  • UB’s FAFSA project, which helps high school students and their families complete applications for federal financial aid. The program has helped produce a 61 percent increase in the number of Buffalo Public Schools students who have completed the financial aid application for college enrollment.