Mercy College Joins Other Elite Institutions to Promote College Completion Rates

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Mercy College has joined an elite group of colleges and universities, including Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Colby College and Syracuse University, collaborating with the KIPP Foundation to improve college completion rates across the country.

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“Mercy College has been recognized as a national College of Distinction for successful student outcomes,” said Mercy College President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline. “We look forward to recruiting the country’s most competitive KIPP students."

Mercy College has joined an elite group of colleges and universities, including Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Colby College and Syracuse University, collaborating with the KIPP Foundation to improve college completion rates across the country.

The KIPP Foundation is the umbrella non-profit organization for a national network of public charter schools striving to increase college completion rates for young people from low-income communities. By partnering with KIPP, Mercy College continues its tradition of implementing innovative programs to promote success for highly-motivated students, such as its cutting-edge and nationally-recognized PACT program.

Through this partnership, Mercy College aims to enroll 16-22 KIPP students per year who meet admissions requirements, beginning in the 2013-14 school year. This community of KIPP students will support each other on their journey through college.

“Mercy College has been recognized as a national College of Distinction for successful student outcomes,” said Mercy College President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline. “We look forward to recruiting the country’s most competitive KIPP students and enabling graduates to achieve their academic and career goals.”

KIPP is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools that prepares students for success in college and in life. More than 95 percent of KIPP's 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. are students of color, and 85 percent qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price meals program.

“Mercy College is a national model for graduating successful students and we are grateful for its commitment to KIPPsters,” said Jane Martínez Dowling, Executive Director of KIPP Through College NYC. “This partnership will open up opportunities for our students at an outstanding college in New York.”

According to 2010 Census data, 31 percent of all Americans aged 25-29 have earned a college degree. For students in the bottom economic quartile, only 11 percent complete college by their mid-20s. As of 2011, 36 percent of KIPP students had completed a four-year college after finishing eighth grade at a KIPP middle school 10 or more years ago. KIPP’s four-year college completion rate is above the national average for students across all income levels, and more than three times the rate for students from low-income families. KIPP's goal is for its students to graduate from college at a similar rate to the nation’s highest-income students.

The KIPP announcement comes at a time of tremendous achievement and momentum at Mercy College. The College recently earned an impressive “A” rating from Standard & Poor’s rating system, acknowledging Mercy College’s flourishing enrollment, strong annual growth, robust operating results, and innovative leadership. For the second year in a row, Mercy College has been recognized nationally as one of 200 Colleges of Distinction in the areas of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes. The Mercy College Honors Program, one of the oldest in New York state, is listed as a “Smart Choice” in Peterson’s Honors Programs and Colleges.

Mercy College joins a group of 13 prestigious colleges and universities that are also working with KIPP to increase college completion numbers. Other university partners include Colby College (Waterville, Maine); University of Houston (Houston, Texas); Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, Pa); San Jose State University (San Jose, Calif.); Tulane University (New Orleans, La.); Spelman College (Atlanta, Ga.); Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.); Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas); University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.); Duke University (Durham, N.C.); Davidson College (Davidson, N.C.); Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.); and Notre Dame de Namur University (Belmont, Calif.).

About Mercy College

Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Liberal Arts. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. The PACT program was featured as a “Best Practice” for retention and career services by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). http://www.mercy.edu/ 877-MERCY-GO.

About KIPP

KIPP – the Knowledge Is Power Program – is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has grown to 125 schools serving more than 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. More than 95 percent of students enrolled in KIPP schools are students of color, and 85 percent qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price meals program. To date, more than 80 percent of students who have completed KIPP middle schools four or more years ago have matriculated to college.

Contact:

For Mercy College:
Jennifer Huron
jhuron (at) mercy (dot) edu
(914) 674-7231

For KIPP Foundation:
Angela Duffy
aduffy (at) kipp (dot) org
(203) 507-7691

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Jennifer Huron
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