downtown Austin

Sarah Saxton-Frump – Peloton University

Posted by on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Sara Pantin called the meeting to order. Jackie Sinex led the audience in pledges, Rich Fikani
gave the invocation, and Chris Ray led the Four Way Test. Guests and visitors were greeted by Vera Keric and Peter Pfeiffer and Richard Shannon was our Host who introduced them.

Bill Davies announced the upcoming Member Soiree for members and their guests, at the Headliner’s Club on September 7. Ann Graham shared information about Camp Enterprise efforts and called for volunteers to conduct student interviews. Past President Gaines Bagby announced an upcoming event in Council Chambers at City Hall with the Mayor on September 14 and suggested that a group of Rotary members attend.

David Doran and Diane Ventresca introduced students who have recently participated in the Group Youth Exchange program to Australia. Four of the five participating students spoke to the crowd and shared a presentation with photos about their trip to Perth and other areas in Australia. We learned about trips to national parks, beaches, experiencing differences in their school environment (i.e. less emphasis on sports activities), attending “footie” games, seeing local wildlife, and bonding with host families and other Rotarians. The students are grateful for their experience and are looking forward to some of the Australian students visiting Central Texas soon.

Richard Tagle welcomed featured speaker Sarah Saxton-Frump. Sarah is COO of Peloton University, a
non-profit program focused on helping non-traditional college students succeed with their degree programs and graduate. As a former high school teacher, Sarah is familiar with the challenges of education. She invited the maudience to share their college experiences with their neighbors at the table and then imagine what it would take to go back to school tomorrow, given today’s life style and schedule challenges.

Sarah shared interesting statistics showing how the demographics for college have changed:

  • 71% of students are non-traditional. (for example: over the age of 24, or part-time, or a commuter)
  • Part-timers have only a 16% chance of graduating.
  • Low-income students typically have an 11% chance of graduating.
  • 95% of jobs today go to degree-holders.
  • By 2030, about 60% of Texas jobs will require a degree.

Many students today who desire to go back to college or find that they need to feel “stuck”. She shared case studies of many people who have hardships, debt from previous failed schooling attempts, families to juggle, professional schedules, and more.

Peloton is not a college itself, but it helps someone succeed with their degree plan. The organization does this by providing space for studying and support, coaching, and deadline accountability.

Unlike the typically low persistence rates of most college environments (about 16%), Peloton students have an 81% persistence rate. Today, they also have a 0% debt rate. Peloton works in amicably with popular low cost college programs and guides the students to complete their requirements. Most students attend a 4-year program with flexible hours, while some complete Associates degrees.

For more information, visit

President Sara adjourned the meeting at 1 pm and closed by highlighting Kidd Roofing (Corey Wilson) and TXSG—Texas Systems Group (David Doran), two of our members with advertisements that support Club operations.

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