What this means for the center is a focus on programs and pathways that are designed to expand college opportunity and preparation, and a focus on long-term partnerships with schools, school systems and community organizations that build capacity and civic connection. Yet access without attainment is essentially a promise denied. To this end, the center also administers the university's federal TRiO programs, Student Support Services and McNair Scholars Program, as well as the Arnold Mitchem Fellowship program — all designed to support low-income and first-generation students through the university to the timely completion of the baccalaureate degree, and prepare them to enter graduate and doctoral programs.
And in a university committed both to quality and inclusion, the center brings institutional attention and intelligence to bear on the question of, "Access for whom, and to what?" It is a question the center approaches both through research and practice, by working with Institutional Research and Market Analytics (within the division of Enrollment Management and Marketing) to develop an ongoing research agenda around student access and attainment at DePaul, and by developing programs that are valued not only for the service they provide but the value they add to institutional understanding and strategy.