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APLU Efforts to Scale Student Success Win Gates Foundation Dollars

graduates raising their caps

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has received $2.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide "capacity-building services" that will support "student-centered university transformation" at its member institutions. The services will be part of APLU's Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success initiative; starting in early 2020, institutions participating in that program will be eligible to apply for assistance in advancing digital learning, implementing corequisite support in the place of remedial education, streamlining student pathways across two- and four-year institutions, and more. Fourteen institutions will be selected through a "competitive APLU-led process," the organization said in a news release; the application process has yet to be announced.

APLU's Powered by Publics project, led by the association's Center for Public University Transformation, brings together 130 public universities and systems in 16 "transformation clusters" focused on various aspects of student success. The goal: to improve college access, eliminate the achievement gap and dramatically increase the number of degrees awarded.

The Gates Foundation award comes out of the organization's Intermediaries for Scale program, which is working with 12 organizations devoted to "supporting institutions as they reduce college success disparities by race and income; promoting continuous learning and improvement through the use of data; and identifying, implementing, and evaluating significant campus-level changes in policy and practice."  

"Public universities are laser-focused on increasing college access, equity, and the number of degrees they award," commented APLU President Peter McPherson, in a statement. "This funding will be essential to advancing those aims on our member campuses and sharing lessons from their work across the sector. We thank our membership for their unyielding commitment to these issues and the foundation for its deep investment in equity and student success."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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