Indiana State University Newsroom

Bradley attends White House summit, announces commitments to improving student success

December 4, 2014

Indiana State University today joined educational institutions from around the country in announcing new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

University President Dan Bradley discussed Indiana State's latest commitments to student success in conjunction with the White House College Opportunity Day of Action. President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted the event at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Bradley was one of 200 college and university presidents invited to participate in the event.

"We are pleased to partner with Stanford University in the College Transition Consortium Project," Bradley said. "As part of our commitment to this exciting initiative, Indiana State aims to become a national leader in the testing, refining and implementation of growth mindset and social belonging interventions. These interventions are designed to make a substantial impact on college success, especially among low income and historically under-represented students."

Initially funded by a U.S. Department of Education "First in the World" grant, Indiana State's participation in the project will not only help reduce student attrition and underperformance but also provide professional development for faculty on supportive classroom teaching methods, Bradley said.

"Indiana State University commits to deepen its work in this important area beyond First in the World funding," he said. "Our goal is to produce 700 more graduates by 2020 and 2,250 more by 2025."

The four-year project builds on research by the College Transition Consortium that found that when students have a "success mindset" and truly believe they can be successful, many are successful. It will also address social belonging, concerns by some students that they don't "fit in" at college, by conducting focus groups of students and developing appropriate interventions.

Bradley said Indiana State also plans to reach out to middle school and high school counselors to help better prepare historically and economically disadvantaged students for the obstacles and realities of higher education before they enroll in college. This includes financial and academic issues, but also psychological aspects necessary for success.

"In this commitment, Indiana State will use proactive, developmental, and strength-based advising techniques to help students make the best possible financial and academic decisions," he said.

Today's event was the second White House College Opportunity Day of Action; the first such day took place in January. The events help support President Obama's commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help the nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

Participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the first lady's Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

President Obama announced new steps on how his administration is helping to support these actions, including $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students' access to college.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and middle class, Obama said.

Only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor's degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell grants by $1,000 a year, created the American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or