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CollegeNET names WSSU a ‘Social Mobility Innovator’

First-time Winston-Salem State University students participate in Through the Archway, a rite of passage ceremony at the conclusion their weeklong student orientation

Technology provider CollegeNET has recognized Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) for its commitment to advancing the economic opportunity of its students, naming the university a “Social Mobility Innovator.”

“It’s inspiring that Winston-Salem State is providing educational opportunity to promising students regardless of their economic background,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. “Winston-Salem State’s civic contribution is key given that higher education’s role in advancing economic mobility and the American Dream is rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, our nation is now caught in a damaging ‘tri-imperfecta.’ Tuitions are increasing, economic inclusion is declining on campuses and Pell Grants – intended for disadvantaged students with financial need – are being awarded more generously to richer families. Winston-Salem State’s innovation provides a strong example for how we can reverse these trends.”

In 2014, CollegeNET created the Social Mobility Index (SMI), a data driven system that ranks U.S. colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising careers. WSSU has ranked among the top 20 U.S. colleges and universities for three consecutive years.

The honor was announced in a release on Wednesday, Feb. 8. WSSU is only the third university to be recognized.

WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson says a key factor in WSSU’s success is its strong culture of engagement for students.

“What pleases me most about this recognition is that it is based on what’s most important to me as Chancellor: the outcomes,” he says. “We are providing our students with an education of the highest quality that transforms, not only our students and their families but our communities.”

This is one of several data-driven studies where WSSU has excelled. In January, The Equality of Opportunity Project released data that found WSSU was no. 2 in North Carolina –  among 101 four-year colleges – for promoting upward economic mobility.

A bold past. A brilliant future.

For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. Join us in celebrating our 125th anniversary with events throughout 2017. Learn more at the 125th Anniversary website.

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