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Baruch College Leads National Dialogue on Social Mobility

Baruch College’s Start-to-Finish Philosophy Enables Students to Excel in Professional World, Highlighted in CollegeNET’s Digital Publication and Bestselling Author Steven Brill’s Latest Book

Baruch College, and its acclaimed success as an engine of economic mobility for students, received top billing in CollegeNET’s just-published e-book, “Social Mobility through Higher Education – Best Practices for Student Success,” and is prominently highlighted in bestselling author Steven Brill’s latest book Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It.

Both publications position Baruch College as among those exemplary higher-education institutions leading the national dialogue on social mobility, and successfully propelling low-income students up the economic ladder.

CollegeNET’s e-book was nationally distributed to the media on June 5. Brill’s book Tailspin, published on May 29 and available in bookstores and libraries nationwide, is reaping high praise from both reviewers and notable individuals, including Jill Abramson, former executive editor at The New York Times, former U.S. senator Bill Bradley, and legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

The two publications feature the opinions and insights of Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD. They also point to Baruch’s “Start-to-Finish Philosophy” for students that has helped establish the College’s nationally recognized social-mobility track record.

CollegeNET: “Social Mobility through Higher Education”

For its first e-book dedicated to social mobility, CollegeNET selected Baruch College and only three other higher education institutions across the country to contribute opinion pieces. According to CollegeNET, the digital publication “offers best practices from student success professionals who are investing in cutting-edge programs that support under-served and under-represented students’ academic, personal and financial needs.” See press release here.

President Wallerstein kicks off the collection of first-person essays with his article “College as a Catalyst for Social Mobility.” He begins, “In this age of entrenched income inequality, higher education is perhaps the key path out of poverty in the United States.” A rigorous education, he contends, benefits “everyone, rich and poor, and better educated citizens drive our economy and enrich our culture.”

President Wallerstein concludes, “Higher education and social mobility are an essential part of the American success story. Baruch and other public institutions of higher learning are the gateway to get there.”

Academic leaders from the University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Cruz; and Winston-Salem State University also contributed to the e-book.

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It

In his latest book, award-winning journalist Brill turns a critical eye towards America’s last half century to understand the country’s current challenging times. He argues “The celebrated American economic mobility engine is sputtering” and “income inequality has snowballed.”

Yet, Brill expresses hopefulness and points to Baruch as an example of a higher education institution that is “laying the foundation for real, lasting change.” In the section about the College, “A Non-Elite Mobility Engine,” Brill writes that Baruch “has developed a menu of programs that leaves little to chance and that offers a road map for how more higher education institutions can create new kind of meritocracy that is not nearly as generationally entrenched.”

In his research, Brill spent a day at Baruch interviewing students, administrators, and President Wallerstein to learn first-hand how the College is moving so many low-to-middle class students into successful, financially lucrative careers. He cites a dozen Baruch programs as examples of the College-wide efforts to help students obtain jobs and internships, such as soft-skills workshops, a real-time trading center, and the Starr Career Development Center.

Brill writes, “Although as Wallerstein pointed out, Baruch has a history of being a gateway into the middle class, in recent years, it has done much more to get its students ready to ride the escalator.  Many public colleges and universities enroll large numbers of poor and lower-middle class families, but few succeed the way Baruch does in propelling so many so far.”

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