This summer, Boston College announced the launch of a groundbreaking new initiative that will oversee outreach to, and support for, low-income, first-generation college students from traditionally underrepresented groups. The Pine Manor Institute for Student Success will work with students from both Boston College and Pine Manor College, part of BC’s recent integration of its neighboring institution.
Vice President for Student Affairs Joy Moore has been named the inaugural executive director of the institute. “This is work that’s close to my heart,” Moore said. “I myself was a first-generation student—the first one in my family to go to college. I come from a family background that is modest and I had a wonderful opportunity here at Boston College, including a great financial aid package for the four years that I was here. And my sister, who came after me, had the same. There’s a lot of gratitude for that.”
The institute will oversee the efforts of a number of BC offices that are already engaged in supporting underserved students, among them Learning to Learn, Options through Education, and the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center. Additionally, the institute will make BC’s support programs available to all of Pine Manor’s approximately 150 students. And with a $50 million endowment established by Boston College, the institute will also link Pine Manor College students to such BC campus programs as the Montserrat Coalition, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, Appalachia Volunteers, and 4Boston.
“That’s something we’re very proud of here at BC. Your success may be your own, but you have to try to bring other people along, and help them create their own success.”
Moore, who will continue her duties in Student Affairs while leading the institute, said the new initiative is in keeping with BC’s history and mission: “This is how Boston College started. The children of immigrants were given an opportunity to get a Jesuit education and to see where that would take them. That’s something we’re very proud of here at BC. Your success may be your own, but you have to try to bring other people along, and help them create their own success.”
The institute is similarly rooted in the traditions of Pine Manor College, a 111-year-old private liberal arts college with a population that is 85 percent students of color, 84 percent first generation, and 80 percent low income. Recent financial struggles had threatened Pine Manor’s reaccreditation, however, leading to the July agreement between the college and BC. Under the agreement, Pine Manor College students will remain at their school in a “teach out” arrangement for a period of up to two years. Students currently enrolled at Pine Manor will be able to continue their associate of arts or bachelor of arts degree programs in classes taught by Pine Manor faculty on the Pine Manor College campus. And those Pine Manor students who gain admission to the Woods College of Advancing Studies can finish their BA degree at Boston College.
“I see the institute as a benefit to the students at Pine Manor and also our students at BC,” Moore said. “It’s an opportunity for BC to really change its landscape and the makeup of its student population. Although we like to think of ourselves sometimes as being in the BC bubble, eventually you have to get out of the bubble and get out there into the world, and the sooner you start to have experiences with a variety of different people, the sooner your worldview starts to broaden.”