Motlow State is increasing student access to Wi-Fi and adding a physical paperwork Dropbox at its Moore County campus. Both additions come from an advanced collaboration between the College’s academic and student success leaders to increase retention and graduation.
The same additions have been made to the Motlow McMinnville campus, as well.
The Dropbox is easily identifiable in front of the Ingram Administration Building. Students can use the Dropbox to drop off paperwork related to admission applications, class registrations, and financial aid. The Dropbox is not available for individual class items such as writing assignments and homework.
Motlow’s Moore County campus has also expanded student Wi-Fi access to the parking lot on both sides of the Marcum Technology Center. Students who do not have access to Wi-Fi are encouraged to come to the campus, remain in their parked car, and use the free Motlow Wi-Fi by signing in with their email username and password.
“We are thrilled to offer these new avenues for students to communicate with the College and with each other,” said Scott Shasteen, director of communications. “Motlow’s continuous focus on student success is strengthened by these evolving strategies. If one student in our Moore County area drops out because of a lack of internet access, then it is highly unlikely they will ever return to College. We can’t let that happen.”
The Washington Post reported this month that record numbers of low-income students are dropping out of college due to a lack of access to good Wi-Fi, stating, “As the fall semester gets into full swing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, schools are noticing a concerning trend: Low-income students are the most likely to drop out or not enroll at all, raising fears that they might never get a college degree. Some 100,000 fewer high school seniors completed financial aid applications to attend College this year, according to a National College Attainment Network analysis of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data through August.
Students from families with incomes under $75,000 are nearly twice as likely to say they “canceled all plans” to take classes this fall as students from families with incomes over $100,000, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey in late August.
The Post article adds, “The drop-off in college enrollment is unusual and particular to this pandemic, as college enrollment during the Great Recession grew. Typically, enrollment jumps during economic downturns when jobs are scarce, and people look to retrain. Yet, the opposite is happening now.
Students who are the first in their families to pursue college degrees don’t tend to take “gap years” to travel and intern. When low-income students stop attending school, they rarely return, diminishing their job and wage prospects for the rest of their lives. Only 13 percent of college dropouts ever return, a National Student Clearinghouse report last year found, and even fewer graduate.
At Motlow, we want the story to be different,” said Terri Bryson, vice president of External Affairs. “Student success is our mission. Every student needs to be a success story. We want to ensure that everyone can access Wi-Fi and can drop documents off at our campuses 24/7.”