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Marquette's RISE program pushes for higher retention of students of color

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 20:02:42-04

Bringing in and keeping students of color from orientation to graduation is a big point-of-focus for leaders at Marquette University.

The university's RISE program is tailored toward helping students of color adjust in year one.

Less than a week away from day one of classes at Marquette, RISE freshmen are already learning about the history in the City of Milwaukee.

Tuesday, RISE, or Ready to Inspire Success and Excellence, took 65 incoming freshmen of color on a bus tour, stopping through Milwaukee's north, south and east sides.

University leaders and students told TODAY'S TMJ4 they see it as an opportunity for students of color to meet one another, as well as faculty members of color.

"It's promoting me to come back because I have the relationship with this group of people I can depend on when I need help," said Destinee Webb, an incoming student from Atlanta.

According to university statistics, Marquette retained about 87% of its freshmen from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018.

In that time, MU retained 89% of its white freshmen and 84%of its black and hispanic freshmen.

"When students don't feel like they're a part of the community they're less likely to perform well in the classroom," said Joya Crear, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.

Tuesday, 65 RISE students went out on the tour. The university said they hope to see the retention numbers for students of color increase in the coming years.