Pandemic Presents Special Challenge to 2-Year College Built on a Cohort Model

This was the last story I filmed as the coronavirus forced campuses to close. It seems almost vintage now – although I believe that we will get back to campus life again. It just may take a bit.

In 2017 the University of St. Thomas started Dougherty Family College, a two-year institution on its downtown Minneapolis campus for youth from around the Twin Cities facing barriers to higher education.

The college admits about 150 mostly first-generation students a year, with the $15,000 tuition largely covered by financial aid, leaving the average student responsible for about $1,000. Tuition covers two meals a day, a laptop, the cost of textbooks and transportation, and a slew of counselors and advisers, including a “persistence coach.” The pedagogy is designed so students see and hear voices from their own rich cultures. But perhaps the most powerful tool for success are the 25 other students — the cohort — they take every class with until they graduate and transfer to a four-year program.

Here’s the link to the original story.

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