CIC and Walmart Foundation Announce Winners of Walmart College Success Awards

WASHINGTON, DC, July 14, 2008 – The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Walmart Foundation announced today the winners of the new Walmart College Success Awards. Through the awards program, twenty CIC member colleges and universities, selected through a highly competitive application process, will receive $100,000 grants to help build on programs that support first-generation students.

The Walmart Foundation awarded CIC a $2.266 million grant in February to establish and implement the College Success Awards. Each recipient institution has demonstrated success in enrolling, retaining, and graduating first-generation college students. The Walmart Foundation grant will support the continued success of the programs offered as well as the preparation of a printed volume that will serve as a compendium of “best practices” in recruiting and successfully educating first-generation students.

The winners are: Adrian College (MI), Bay Path College (MA), Bellarmine University (KY), California Lutheran University, Carroll University (WI), College of Idaho, College of Mount Saint Vincent (NY), College of Saint Benedict (MN), College of St. Scholastica (MN), Florida Memorial University, Illinois College, Juniata College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI), Lesley University (MA), Manchester College (IN), North Central College (IL), Ripon College (WI), St. Edward’s University (TX), Wartburg College (IA), and Wiley College (TX).

The programs offered at these 20 institutions represent the wide range of approaches to working with first-generation students. Some institutions focus on the unique needs of a particular subset of first-generation students, such as foreign-born students, commuter students, transfer students from community colleges, or students pursuing a teaching career. A number of the award recipients offer transitional summer programs for incoming students that help prepare them for college-level work and life away from home. Others provide services such as mentoring, tutoring, career development, and providing scholarships and stipends to help ensure success for first-generation students.

“The outstanding quality of these programs is truly a testament to the efforts of small private colleges to ensure the success of first-generation students,” said CIC President Richard Ekman in announcing the awards. “It’s not surprising that more than a third of CIC’s members applied for a

College Success Award—these institutions have extraordinary success rates in serving these students. For example, the graduation rate of first-generation students at private institutions is 61 percent versus only 44 percent at public institutions.”

“Walmart is proud to support programs that enable first generation students to succeed in college,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Walmart’s partnership with CIC identifies institutions committed to the success of first generation students and will help identify and share effective programs.”

At all colleges and universities nationwide, only 24 percent of first-generation students succeed in earning a bachelor’s degree compared with 68 percent of students whose parents received a bachelor’s degree. The Walmart College Success Award winners have developed programs that result in higher percentages of graduates among their first-generation college students than the national average. Many of the award recipients graduate first-generation students at the same rate as all other students.

For more information about the Walmart College Success Awards and the programs of the 20 winners, visit the CIC website at www.cic.edu/projects_services/walmart_college_success.asp.

About The Council of Independent Colleges
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 580 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu/.

About the Walmart Foundation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability and health. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

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1Source: National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, “Independent Colleges and Universities: A National Profile,”2004
2Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, Fourth Follow-up, Postsecondary Education Transcript Study, 2000.