EDUCATION

Won’t Lose This Dream: How an Upstart Urban University Rewrote the Rules of a Broken System

New Pr. May 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781620974704. $27.99. ED
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Gumbel, an investigative journalist, tells the moving story of how Georgia State University (GSU) increased its enrollment and national prestige by enabling low-income first-generation college students to graduate from college. Over the last ten years, a new president and administrative staff introduced innovative programs based on new technology and data analysis to determine how to help students and make effective programs more widely available. Their example demonstrates that students with limited support systems and financial resources can succeed if universities prioritize students’ needs over faculty convenience. Gumbel presents sympathetic portraits of students determined to succeed despite little help from their families. He offers insights into the university leaders who fought for change and provides rich details about systemic institutional change at GSU, one of the leaders in a small but increasingly influential movement to make American universities more equitable and inclusive places.
VERDICT Gumbel relies on clear analysis and rich anecdotes to explain how one school helped its students thrive. A superb work for anyone interested in higher education.

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