Around the Institute

‘Grease the Gears’ for First-generation Students

June 6, 2018  • Robert Pondiscio, Thomas Fordham Institute

Last month, Dan Porterfield presided over his final commencement as President of Franklin & Marshall College before leaving the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, school he had led since 2011 to become the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. Under Porterfield, F&M partnered with several high-profile charter and Catholic school networks and programs, including KIPP, Cristo Rey, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, and the Posse Scholars program, to attract low-income students of color to F&M and other selective colleges, and to keep them persisting. Those efforts were the centerpiece of “No Excuses Kids Go to College,” a cover story Robert Pondiscio wrote for Education Next in 2013. Pondiscio conducted an “exit interview” with Porterfield last month on the lessons learned from F&M’s work, as well as Porterfield’s plan to continue those efforts at Aspen.
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