New Workshops to Help Members Dispel Myths about Higher Education

“Why is college so expensive today?”
“I think we make too much money to get any financial aid.”
“I’m not sure my son would even like going to a private college—he might not be comfortable around so many wealthy kids.”
“I want my kid to get a high-paying job—not to work in a coffee shop!”

Talking About Private Colleges logoThis fall, CIC will launch Talking about Private Colleges: Busting the Myths. The new regional workshops are designed to help campus leaders become more effective in sharing the facts about independent higher education in their communities.

In announcing the workshops, CIC President Richard Ekman noted, “Myths and half-truths about private higher education are as pervasive as they are frustrating. In newspaper columns, at dinner parties, during barbecues and soccer games, journalists, friends, and neighbors assert as facts that private colleges are unaffordable and irrelevant in today’s economy and society. The evidence says otherwise.” These workshops, Ekman emphasized, “will help the roughly 250,000 employees of CIC’s 656 colleges and universities share the true story about the affordability, accessibility, and educational effectiveness of independent colleges.”

The Talking about Private Colleges workshops will bring together campus teams to explore “myth-busting” data about private colleges and universities—and then give them an opportunity to practice persuasive counter-arguments through role-playing. Participants will come away better prepared to influence community opinion through informal conversations with friends, neighbors, elected officials, and local businesspeople. They also will be equipped to help their campus colleagues become more persuasive advocates.

Workshop topics will include the cost of college, paying for college, access and diversity, student debt, and graduates’ success in the workplace and in life, among other issues that the public often raises about college-going. Participants will connect national data and trends with institution-specific data and narratives.

Team members will prepare for the workshop by completing a brief survey and reviewing key data about trends and comparisons between private and public institutions. After each workshop, the materials can be re-used to share information with many campus colleagues.

CIC members are invited to send campus teams of five to seven people to one of the workshops. Teams will normally consist of the president, at least one trustee, at least two faculty leaders, and at least one administrator or senior staff member.

The workshops will be generously hosted by CIC member campuses across the country, allowing teams to choose locations within convenient driving distance (see below for the list of dates and locations). The workshops are offered free of charge to CIC Institutional Members, thanks to generous support by Henry Luce Foundation, EAB, Sage Scholars Inc., and Sodexo. Registration for all workshops is open now. Visit the program site for complete information and to register.

Talking about Private Colleges Workshops

SEPTEMBER 25, 2019:
Bay Path University (Longmeadow, MA)

NOVEMBER 19, 2019:
Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC)

FEBRUARY 27, 2020:
University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA)

MARCH 24, 2020:
Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH)

MAY 1, 2020:
Augsburg University (Minneapolis, MN)

SEPTEMBER 29, 2020:
York College of Pennsylvania (York, PA)

OCTOBER 26, 2020:
William Jewell College (Liberty, MO)