Colleges Showcase Graduation Rate Initiatives

Knox programs among "meaningful initiatives in private higher education"

October 04, 2010

Knox College is a leader, both nationally and in the state of Illinois, in developing academic support, according to a new website that showcases the efforts of private colleges and universities to increase access to higher education and college graduation rates, "Building Blocks to 2020." http://www.buildingblocks2020.org

"College-attainment rates are rising in almost every industrialized or post-industrial country in the world, except for the U.S.," according to a recent report from the Lumina Foundation for Education, a research and philanthropic organization that's working to increase the proportion of Americans -- currently less than 40 percent -- who complete higher education.

"Building Blocks to 2020," http://www.buildingblocks2020.org, contains details on nearly 400 programs at 250 colleges and universities. With five of its programs listed on the site as "meaningful initiatives in private higher education," Knox is at the top in Illinois, where a total of 12 schools have developed 21 programs. Knox also has the third-highest program total among the 250 schools throughout the U.S. that submitted information.

The website is a joint project of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). An announcement from NAICU and CIC stated that Building Blocks to 2020 was organized "to help the nation meet President Obama's call to make the United States first in college completion by 2020."

"Knox College was founded on the principle of educating academically strong students, regardless of financial means," said Knox College President Roger Taylor, who spoke in Washington, D.C. to a national NAICU conference on Knox's access and affordability initiatives in January 2010. "Knox's continuing investment in programs that support students is simply an extension of that founding commitment."

Knox has five of its programs listed on the website as "meaningful initiatives in private higher education" -- the fourth-highest total among the 250 schools that submitted information. Knox's programs are:

Building Blocks to 2020 plans to issue a preliminary progress report in early 2011. Annual updates will track retention rates and numbers of graduates.