New series focuses on access, equity for undergraduate education


The Center for Academic Innovation is hosting a series of talks throughout the 2022-23 academic year focused on how to improve pathways to and through undergraduate education at the University of Michigan.

Each of the six sessions in the Advancing Undergraduate Education Symposia Series will feature discussions with experts inside and outside U-M, including researchers and leaders from educational nonprofits and peer institutions.

“The Opportunity Gap” is set for Oct. 6 at the Michigan Union and will highlight ways the university can improve college access and recruitment efforts among students from local, underresourced communities and schools.

The talk will feature Cyekeia Lee from the Detroit College Access Network, Kim Lijana from the Center for Educational Outreach and Lyonel Milton from the College of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach.

The panelists will discuss the approaches they have taken in their respective programs to promote greater access, as well as what partnerships have enabled them to leverage and scale their resources.

“This is an opportunity to have some difficult but vitally important conversations about the state of undergraduate education at U-M, where we are as individual units and where we want to be as a collective institution,” said RaShonda Flint, senior director of educational equity and inclusion at the Center for Academic Innovation, who is leading the symposia series.

“So many people are thinking about how we as a university can extend academic excellence while advancing equitable access and attainment to an undergraduate degree, and it’s time we come together for conversations on what we’re doing well and how we can do it even better.”

At each session, attendees will hear from expert panels on the intersection of academic innovation, research and trends, emerging models and current best practices. There also will be time for collaborative brainstorming around new and creative ways individuals and units can lead the way on greater access and opportunity to a quality undergraduate education at U-M.

Additional sessions will be College Readiness & Preparedness on Nov. 2, with a focus on how pre-college partnerships can increase opportunities and access, and Pathways to the University on Dec. 6, about ways to create scalable transfer-credit processes and practices that better support the diverse learning experiences of incoming students.

The final three sessions of the series will take place in winter semester.

Flint said the sessions are only the beginning of important conversations to reimagine undergraduate education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must think about greater flexibility and opportunities for in-person and online learning. CAI will continue to strategize with units across the university to expand educational reach and impact, support innovative teaching, and create diverse learning experiences for a variety of learners,” Flint said.


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.