Across the nation, college enrollment and retention are falling and students are struggling to meet their basic needs. The #RealCollege Virtual Journey– sponsored by Course Hero, Conagra Brands, and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice- is an opportunity to build capacity and to meet this moment of global pandemic, historic inequality, and unprecedented public spending.
This creative re-envisioning of the annual #RealCollege convening, announced in January, offers higher education leaders and their communities critical support. Over a nine-month period beginning with our March 31st free kickoff, the Journey will provide participants with online workshops and engaging activities led by experts and delivered free of charge.
Participants will engage in three paths, choosing their own adventures:
Path 1: Information and Inspiration. Learn about the latest evidence on basic needs insecurity during the pandemic and be inspired by leaders making change.
Path 2: Learning and Growing Evidence-Based Practices. Engage in developing advising, instruction, and related practices on and off campus to support students’ basic needs.
Path 3: Advocating for Change. Create sustainable systems change so that the higher education ecosystem is forever improved.
This year, #RealCollege will convene a Virtual Journey with topics supported by the latest research evidence. Each month will begin with an inspirational session, leading into workshops that highlight practice and policy to support students experiencing basic needs insecurities. Below is an outline of the Virtual Journey with thematic content curated throughout 2021 (dates to be determined for later events).
AUGUST: HIGHER ED FINANCE
Wednesday, August 18, 3:00 p.m. ET
(Click on profiles to learn more)
Wednesday, August 25, 3:00 p.m. ET
(Click on profiles to learn more)
Path 3: The Free College Movement and Students’ Basic Needs (Register)
SEPTEMBER: STUDENT ADVOCACY
Tuesday, September 14, 3:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, September 22, 3:00 p.m. ET
Path 2: Empowering Students to Lead Change (Register)
Path 3: Centering #RealCollege Students in Policy Agendas (Register)
OCTOBER: RETHINKING FINANCIAL AID. Webinars will delve into “What Affordability and Debt Mean Now: A Conversation with Josh Mitchell and Sara Goldrick-Rab;” “Promising Practices in Emergency Aid;” and “Reforming and Moving Beyond Title IV.”
NOVEMBER: REFLECTING AND PREPARING FOR 2022. This month, we will convene Town Halls to discuss what we learned on the Journey and to prepare for next year.
DECEMBER: CELEBRATION. The Hope Center will offer a Gala celebrating the accomplishments of participants in the #RealCollege movement.
Wednesday, March 31, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET
APRIL: THE LATEST EVIDENCE
Wednesday, April 7, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET
MAY: PARENTING AND CAREGIVING
Wednesday, May 12, 3:00-5:00 p.m. ET (Watch Recording)
Path 1: Pregnant Girl, a special event with author Nicole Lynn Lewis
Paths 2 and 3 combined: Generations of Change: Supporting Parenting Students Through Campus-Based Resources and State and Federal Programs
JUNE: TEACHING AND LEARNING
Wednesday, June 2, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, June 9, 3:00- 4:30 p.m. ET
Path 2: How to Ungrade (Watch Recording)
Path 3: Investing in Community Colleges (Watch Recording)
LATE JUNE/JULY: RACIAL JUSTICE
Wednesday, June 30, 3:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 14, 3:00 p.m. ET
Path 2: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Basic Needs Movement (Watch Recording)
Path 3: Work Requirements, Deservingness, and the Social Safety Net (Watch Recording)
Help Fund the Virtual Journey
The Hope Center for College, Community, Justice thanks our presenting sponsors Course Hero and Conagra Brands for generous sponsorship which helps students to achieve their dreams. This adventure is offered in collaboration with Believe in Students. We seek additional partners for the Virtual Journey. To get involved, please contact Chief of Staff Maureen Scully.
The Journey kicked off on Wednesday, March 31, with a webinar featuring special guests, journalist and documentarian Soledad O’Brien and CEO and social entrepreneur Wes Moore. They were joined by The Hope Center’s President & Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab for a conversation on the implications of #RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity During the Ongoing Pandemic and a discussion of our new #RealCollege survey report. The report was presented by Executive Director E. Christine Baker-Smith and Frederick Shegog of West Chester University, a member of The Hope Center’s first Student Leadership Advisory Council.