Professor Simmons believes that higher education access for vulnerable populations is one of the most important issues facing this generation. He has a keen interest in addressing obstacles to higher education opportunity through multiple channels.

For over two decades, Professor Simmons, on a volunteer basis, has helped hundreds of talented students attain their higher education goals through his nonprofit organization, the Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF). SMF provides a range of services including mentoring, college advising, college visitations, standardized test preparation, and scholarships.

Professor Simmons also provides advisory and technical assistance services to education-focused organizations.

Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF)

The Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides high quality educational support programs for students who are members of vulnerable or at-risk groups. Founded in 1996 to honor the lives of Cynthia Simmons and her son Nathaniel Simmons, SMF seeks to instill the same values of education and perseverance that each of them displayed in their daily lives.


Higher Education Links

U.S. Department of Education – College Access Affinity Group – The College/Career Affinity Group presents promising practices and research in college access, persistency, completion and career preparation.

National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.

National College Access Network (NCAN) – NCAN’s mission is to build, strengthen, and empower communities committed to college access and success so that all students, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education, can achieve their educational dreams.

My Brother’s Keeper Initiative – A collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of our young people, including boys and young men of color.

Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education – The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education unites scholars from Penn GSE and other academic disciplines across the University who do research on race, racism, campus climates, and topics pertaining to equity in education. Principally, the Center aims to publish cutting-edge implications for education policy and practice.

College Advising Corps – College Advising Corps works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education.

Posse Foundation – Founded in 1989, Posse identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) – The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to promoting access to and success in higher education for all students. Based in Washington, D.C., IHEP develops innovative policy- and practice-oriented research to guide policymakers and education leaders who develop high-impact policies that will address our nation’s most pressing education challenges.

Other Sites of Interest