Published: May 11, 2017
McNeill Academic Center 2017 graduates

McNeill Academic Program 2017 graduates from left to right. Back row: Daniel Culbertson, Ahmed Elsayed, Jonathan Delgado, Emily Sheridan, Jemal Imam, Zachary Newquist | Second row: Sandeep Adhikari, Julia Melasipo , Diana Ramirez, Ruby Baca,Maggie Hernandez, Veronica Williams, My-Phuong Nguyen, Clement Asante, Kaitlyn Leigh, Justin Phu | Front row: Denisse Dominguez Perez, Olivia Fontanese, Alexis Diaz, Christina Gallegos, Deaunabah Yazza

Research shows involvement in college has positive impacts on retention. Students are more likely to persist if they are involved academically and socially, if they have positive interactions with each other and faculty, and if they feel they are a valued member of the institution.

But for first-generation, culturally and linguistically diverse students who are more likely to come from a lower socio-economic background, this engagement is crucial. Many of these students generally have a greater concern of financial aid and financial burdens.

Benefits such as unpaid internships and study abroad programs—experiences known to increase retention—are often out of reach for these students, since most work full time during the summer and part time during the school year to cover tuition costs.

At the University of Colorado Boulder, the McNeill Academic Program, a community of scholars housed in the Student Academic Success Center (SASC), hopes to address these disparities, serving as an academic and social support system for students. It is McNeill’s continued mission to assist all students throughout their academic career as well as increase retention rates for the program's scholars.

This month, members of McNeill's Student Advisory Board developed a crowdfunding project to support the program's student growth and retention efforts. They hope to reach $5,000 by the end of May.

If you would like to support the McNeill Program, please consider donating to their crowdfunding project. Your contribution will help increase student retention, study abroad enrollment, options for unpaid internships, network-building and support through unexpected financial circumstances.