Kenita Pitts, State Coordinator for the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Academic Common Market and Regional Contract Program at the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, recently spoke on the value of collaboration for student success at the second annual SREB Student Success Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.
The summit brought together professionals dedicated to advancing student success in higher education and focused on bridging the gap between policy and practice.
In her role at the CHE, Pitts facilitates opportunities for qualified students to pursue a first-professional health degree at selected out-of-state institutions while paying in-state tuition and fees at public institutions and reduced tuition at private institutions.
During her presentation, Pitts addressed collaboration between southern states to create opportunities for students in the south, as it relates to accessibility and affordability in higher education. Pitts emphasized the need for a more efficient credit transfer system.
“We're finding that a lot of students are having a hard time transferring credits. Technical schools offer a bridge program that will allow you to transfer to a four-year institution, but then when the students get there, they discover all their credits are not accepted,” Pitts said.
One segment of the summit that Pitts felt allowed for expansion in collaboration was during the break-out sessions. In these sessions, representatives discussed practices and strategies that have helped them increase student success.
Pitts' presentation was part of a broader program that featured expert perspectives from various speakers and panelists, including higher education administrators, policymakers, scholars, students, career coaches, and student success experts from across the southern region.
Pitts shared that a very notable aspect of the summit was the student panel. “We heard first-hand the challenges that students face, down to transferring credits, the application process, and changes in a major. Who better to help us better student success than students?” Pitts said.
Prior to the summit, Stephen Pruitt, SREB’s president, emphasized the pressing need to prioritize student success in postsecondary education. He noted that recent years of study have revealed a clear desire among students to excel academically and succeed in the workforce.
“The goal of the summit was accomplished. It offered an opportunity to see what other states have available that we don’t have and vice-versa,” Pruitt said.
Article by Shardai Figgures, CHE social media and Communications Coordinator. For additional information on the CHE's SREB programs visit our Regional Contract Program or Academic Common Market pages.