CHAPEL HILL – UNC Chancellor Carol Folt made a trip to the White House Thursday to meet with visit President Barack Obama for a day-long summit on how to make college more accessible to all students, including those from low-income families.
Folt was a part of a group of academic, business and philanthropy leaders participating in the initiative, including N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson.
Folt said she traveled with President Obama and Woodson on a special flight to the White House.
“We were invited, the three of us, on Air Force One. That was really fun,” Folt said with a smile on her face at a Faculty Council Meeting Friday.
As part of the initiative, Carolina announced it will double the size of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program from this year’s inaugural class of 20 students to 40 students. The program aims to increase diversity among future leaders who want to earn higher-level science degrees.
UNC also will provide up to $4 million over the next four years to launch a university-wide initiative to improve graduation rates for all undergraduates, with a focus on low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The university plans to build on its graduation rates — 82 percent after four years, 89 percent after five years and 90 percent after six years – by enhancing coordinated support services.
Finally, Carolina will expand the Carolina College Advising Corps, which provides in-depth, near-peer college advising for high-school students. Ten additional recent UNC graduates will serve as college advisers during 2014-2015. That means 42 UNC advisers will serve 65 low-income high schools. The expansion is part of a state-wide initiative led by the John M. Belk Endowment and the College Advising Corps.