Social Venture Partners (SVP) welcomed over 55 guests to its new office in the WeWork facility at The Railyard for the SVP Pathways to Partnership + Education panel last night. The evening opened with Board member and SVP Partner Scott Leo sharing about what makes the SVP Partner process unique including engagement opportunities with nonprofits and education events.
Patti Weber, SVP Partner, began the Education Pathways to Employability panel by sharing some startling statistics on post-secondary education challenges facing all students and their families. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the four-year graduation rate for students attending public colleges and universities is 33.3%. The six-year graduation rate is 57.6%. Why are so few students graduating? Patti shared that the “one-size fits all” approach taken by traditional colleges and universities isn’t working for college-bound students anymore. Students today are more diverse than ever, racially and economically, and many are working part-time and struggling financially with the rising cost of tuition. Regardless of whether or not these students graduate, most are still saddled with insurmountable student debt without the potential to pay it off. Patti then kicked off our panel discussion by asking the question, “how do we change this?”
Panel moderator, SVP Partner, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) Board member Margaret Marshall, started by providing wonderful insight into current continuing education opportunities available for CMS schools and students. Panelist Robert Filter, Career and Technical Coordinator of the Southwest Region for NC Department of Public Instruction, provided insight into CTE (Career and Technical Education) initiatives available to students in Union County Public Schools. Dr. Maria Lander, SVP Partner and Dean of Applied Science and Technology at South Piedmont Community College, rounded out the conversation by providing important information on current community college opportunities and shared common “myths” associated with the community college experience. Jessica Wade, School Counselor at Garinger High School, shared the continuing challenges facing her students, including realizing the value of a high school degree in addition to the value of post-secondary educational pursuits.
Thank you to all our guests and SVP partners who attended and engaged in a powerful dialogue with our panel.
To learn more about our SVP Partnership path, click on the one pager link below!