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For the 59 percent of college students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree each year in the U.S., the journey to get to the graduation stage is individual, as real-world barriers like raising children and maintaining a full-time career could derail the path to educational success. Strayer University, in partnership with talk show host, best-selling author and entertainer Steve Harvey, seeks to shed light on these circumstances and give students the tools to graduate with the launch “Success Project.”

“It is really a project that looks at how to alleviate barriers to individuals deciding to go back to school, and for those who do go back to school, to be successful,” Dr. Michael Plater, Ph.D., president of Strayer University said during an interview with MadameNoire. “It’s a project that both Steve Harvey and Strayer University are really passionate about.”

Strayer University, founded in 1892 in Baltimore, educates working adults and has seen more than 100,000 of its students graduate with degrees in Marketing, Education, Accounting and more. The average Strayer University student is 34 years old and most likely a full-time professional and parent looking to advance in their career through a college education.

“We understand the barriers and the issues adult students have to face when they make the decision to go back to school. Many of our students have children, taking care of parents and loved ones, or are working full-time, so we know it’s not the easiest decision to make. Most of our students know that they want to go back to school. The question is: how do they fit it in with a very full schedule? What we’ve done in putting [Success Project] together is really tried to address that.”

The Success Project of Strayer University is a four-part initiative that will support its students throughout the course of their college career, including a YouTube success video series, the partnership with Steve Harvey and newly-implemented success coaches, a dedicated group of professionals who support each student through counseling and advice.

“One of the major parts of the student Success Project is our success coach program. That’s where we’ve put together a dedicated group of professionals whose main task, and only task, is to work one-on-one with each of our students,” said Dr. Plater. “As you are enrolled in Strayer University, you get assigned a success coach, and that person stays with you throughout your entire career at Strayer. They are more than what many would categorize as advisors. The success coaches will offer advice on careers, financial issues, time management skills, goal setting, etc. The success coaches will come up with creative ways to help our students balance family time with work and school needs.”

The yearlong partnership with Harvey will include an integration with his television talk show to raise awareness about the initiative.

“We know the path is different for everyone. It can be a very different path for each person to reach their own success goals, but I think in talking with [Steve Harvey], it became very obvious very fast that we are all looking at it the same way,” said Dr. Plater. “The Success Project is another tool in our basket of support mechanisms for our students. We are looking at it as a way of continually expanding our support system for our students. And my hope is that, as we continue to introduce more aspects of Success Project throughout the year that it will allow more and more of our students to be successful and ultimately graduate. ”

Learn more about Strayer University and Steve Harvey’s “Success Project” partnership at 

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