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November 17, 2020

Bridges to Success Equity Webinar and White Paper Series continues

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) will host a webinar, Thursday, Nov. 19, about the effects COVID-19 has had on the college and career readiness of Missouri’s students.

The webinar is part of MDHEWD’s Bridges to Success Webinar Series, which began in September and will continue on into July 2021. In October, the department hosted Equity Week, and released the 2020 Equity in Missouri Higher Education Report that focused on academic success based on age, sex, race, and income level.

A white paper, which corresponds to Thursday’s upcoming webinar, was published today by MDHEWD’s Office of Postsecondary Policy.

Although it is too early to know the full impact of COVID-19, Missouri is exploring how the pandemic is affecting college students in regards to cost, resources, internet access, and more. The white paper draws anecdotal evidence from national reports and stories, and highlights some solutions posed by Missouri higher education institutions and organizations.

Titled “From High School to the Future: Current Challenges, Opportunities, and Initiatives to Close the Gaps in Missouri,” Thursday’s webinar will specifically explore how Missouri’s institutions can modify the way they evaluate the academic achievements of incoming freshman during a pandemic. Educators and advocates from colleges and non-profit partners will share how they are measuring the college readiness of incoming students by using disaggregated data, sharing strategies and resources, and holding each other accountable to shared equity goals.

“Equity will always be at the forefront of the department’s policy discussions, and the unexpected global pandemic has only increased the need for these discussions,” said Dr. Mara Woody, assistant commissioner of the office of postsecondary policy. “The feedback we’ve received from this webinar series has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re excited to continue this conversation and the collaborative efforts of making education more equitable for all Missourians.”

Speakers for the Nov. 19 webinar will include: Takako Nomi, Associate Professor, St. Louis University; Michael Podgursky, Director, Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research, Saint Louis University; and Zekita Armstrong-Asuquo, President, Gateway Global Data Logistics Co.

Download the white paper and register for upcoming webinars at  https://dhewd.mo.gov/equity_project.php.


About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at  https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.