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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

National Thought Leaders on Social Mobility Featured in ODU Symposium, June 18-19

By Betsy Hnath

For many college students, a degree means more than starting a career: it provides a boost in socioeconomic class for generations to come.

That's known as "social mobility," and it's gotten increasing attention as more first-generation and non-traditional students enter the world of higher education, changing the trajectory of their family histories.

Old Dominion University is hosting a Social Mobility Symposium on June 18 and 19 to elevate the topic to a national issue.

Featured speakers include Scott Jaschik, CEO and editor of Inside Higher Ed; Robert Morse, chief data strategist of U.S. News & World Report; Will del Pilar, vice president of Education Trust, and Tyrone Bledsoe, founder of Student African American Brotherhood.

Access and affordability play major roles in graduation rates, especially when tuition taps already-limited funds. Without a degree, earning potential is often capped, restricting social mobility. The challenge comes for colleges and universities to provide open doors students need to start their education, as well as the support to help them finish it.

These topics, and more, will be addressed during the two-day symposium.

"Social mobility needs to be a part of the national conversation about education, and Old Dominion University is excited to provide the venue for those talks," said Giovanna Genard, assistant vice president for strategic communication and marketing. "Our collective voice can make a strong impact."

To learn more about social mobility and the symposium, visit www.odu.edu/sees/social-mobility-symposium

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