The Pivotal Network represents a novel approach to the problem of undermatching by supporting the work of high school teachers and building partnerships between these teachers and colleges and universities.

Students from demographics that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education continue to face numerous barriers in the college access pipeline. The relatively circumscribed college aspirations of these students imposed by these barriers is termed ‘undermatching’.

For the students who do find their way forward to higher education, we know that their high school teachers have played a pivotal role in their success. Hence the term “Pivotal Educators” for the teachers who make the greatest difference in classrooms across the country. Surprisingly, most initiatives that seek to address the challenge of undermatching overlook these teachers.

Yet in higher education we recognize the important role that high school teachers play in the lives of the students who join our communities. The Pivotal Network will elevate and bolster the work of these Pivotal Educators by connecting them to one another and to professors and staff at colleges and universities. By supporting teachers who each reach hundreds of high school students each year, we seek to have impact at scale in the educational futures of students.

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