On Sept. 16 and 17, a team of higher education policymakers from across Ohio will meet to discuss opportunities for their state. As part of this convening, which is being facilitated by the National Governors Association (NGA), the team will explore opportunities to support students with some college but no degree who carry state or institutional debt as they return to complete their education. As they discuss options, the team will hear from some neighbors to the north — including Wayne State University.
“I’m excited to discuss our groundbreaking Warrior Way Back debt-relief program at Wayne State University, where we have created a pathway for returning students to obtain their degree by ‘learning’ their way out of past-due debt owed to the university,” said Wayne State University Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Dawn Medley. “I’m pleased to present alongside Melanie D’Evelyn from the Detroit Regional Chamber. Melanie directs the Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) program, which we partner with to improve the talent pipeline in our Detroit region.”
In June 2019, the NGA launched the Educate for Opportunity Project with a focus on supporting state efforts that connect and align their postsecondary institutions to state workforce needs and highlighting the engagement of adults in education and training pathways. This project is being facilitated by NGA with funding from the Strada Education Network. Ohio is one of six states participating in this project.
“Dawn Medley was invited to join a panel discussion focused on institutional debt forgiveness to help Ohio policymakers develop a better understanding of how Wayne State’s program works and how such a program could possibly be implemented at Ohio’s institutions of higher education,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Stephanie Davidson.
“WSU is one of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s key partners in its D3 initiative, which is a collaborative effort to increase the postsecondary attainment rate to 60% by 2030, while also reducing the education equity gap by 50% for the region’s Black and minority population,” said D’Evelyn. “By spearheading WSU’s debt-forgiveness effort, which has received national recognition, Dawn’s equity mindset is increasing access to education for Detroiters.”
Higher education institutions are the intended audience for this panel. The panel will take place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 16. Guests must register to participate, and registration will remain open after the panel begins for those who come late and have not registered.