KSU receives grant to improve recruitment, retention and progression to graduation

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  Grant will help improve recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanic and Latino…

Georgia (Jan 6, 2010) —  

Grant will help improve recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanic and Latino students
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 6, 2010) —  Kennesaw State University has been awarded a $660,000 grant by The Goizueta Foundation to develop strategies aimed at improving the retention and graduation rates of Hispanic and Latino students at the university, which have the potential for replication by the University System of Georgia’s 34 other institutions.
KSU has contracted with Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, to carry out the study over the next few months. Bain is working closely with KSU officials to develop a business model for addressing the recruitment, retention, progression and graduation of Hispanic and Latino students at KSU, who represent about 5 percent of the university’s 22,380 students.
“KSU is strongly committed to recruiting –– and graduating –– a diverse student body, and we need to do a better job of attracting and retaining Hispanic and Latino students,” said President Daniel S. Papp. “This generous grant from The Goizueta Foundation will allow us to invest our time and resources to find out how we can be more successful both at recruiting more Hispanic and Latino students and in making sure they graduate.”
Kennesaw State has had a moderate degree of success at recruiting Hispanic and Latino students, with enrollment of Hispanic and Latino students growing by 120 percent from fall 2001 to fall 2008, to 864 students. Applications from these underrepresented populations also have grown steadily through the years as the university’s profile has risen. But these students still represent a small percent of KSU’s overall student population. And Hispanic and Latino students at KSU, like other students, still have low six-year graduation rates –– just 39 percent for those full-time students that enrolled at KSU in 2003.
 The Goizueta Foundation grant will help KSU fulfill one of six strategic goals as outlined in the university’s 2007-2012 strategic plan, which calls for the promotion of an inclusive campus environment “through the adoption of policies, procedures and curricula that are guided by the principles of diversity, equity, transparency and shared governance.”
Over the next few months, Bain & Company consultants will examine national studies, conduct surveys and focus groups, and gather data relevant to the project’s goal. With the assistance of a steering committee and a working team, Bain & Company will provide by February 2010 a set of recommendations for improving the recruitment, retention, progression and graduation of Hispanic and Latino students at KSU.
“We are incredibly excited about this grant,” said Jennifer Wade-Berg, KSU’s chief diversity officer. “Understanding the challenges facing Georgia’s Hispanic and Latino populations, particularly in higher education, Kennesaw State has engaged in strategic activities to address the needs of our Hispanic and Latino students, staff and faculty. Our vision is to become a ‘campus of choice’ for underrepresented populations.”
The comprehensive study also is expected to identify potential strategies for enhancing the retention and graduation rates of Hispanic and Latino students at the other 34 USG institutions, as well as for improving the graduation rates for all KSU students, Wade-Berg said.
The Atlanta-based Goizueta Foundation provides financial assistance to charitable and educational institutions in Georgia by supporting educational programs that promote sustainable change and have long-term impact in the community. The foundation was established in 1992 by Roberto C. Goizueta, then CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
Bain & Company, a leading global business consulting firm, serves clients on issues of strategy, operations, technology, organization and mergers and acquisitions.  The firm was founded in 1973 on the principle that Bain consultants must measure their success by their clients’ results. With 41 offices in 27 countries, Bain has worked with thousands of major for-profit and non-profit organizations worldwide. For more information visit: www.bain.com.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers close to 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu