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$165,000 Awarded to Public Universities Adopting Innovative Strategic Student Advising Technologies to Boost Success

November 17, 2015

Indianapolis, IN – Portland State University and Florida International University today won a combined $165,000 in grants to expand the reach of their innovative student advising effort success efforts. The schools were the winners of the University Pitch Challenge at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

Portland State University won top honors: the $100,000 judge-chosen prize and the $5,000 audience-picked prize.  Florida International University won $60,000.  All of the grants will be used to advance student success and closing the achievement gap.

“Portland State University and Florida International University have implemented innovations that illustrate the promise of new approaches and technologies to removing hurdles to degree completion and boosting student success,” said Shari Garmise, Vice President for the APLU/USU Office of Urban Initiatives and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities.  “Public universities are at the vanguard of student success efforts nationwide and the Innovation Pitch Challenge serves as a testament to the great work that takes places on these campuses every day.  We look forward to them scaling-up their work to reach more students.”

Super Awesome Degree Maps is Portland State University’s program.  The intiative is a dynamic, mobile friendly tool that helps students make informed and proactive decisions around academic, career, and financial planning. The tool is designed to support a wide range of decisions that students face on a regular basis, from enrolling in classes to selecting a major. Information is made available to students where they are and connects them with other students and professional advisors with whom they can share their plans.

Utilizing Predictive Analytics to “Schedule” Success at Florida International University (UPASS@FIU) is Florida International University’s program. UPASS@FIU empowers advisors to target a specific and powerful, yet often-overlooked mediator of student success: the difficulty of students’ schedules.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, and Lumina Foundation supported the Innovation and Pitch Challenge and its prize.

The Innovation Pitch Challenge is part of APLU’s broader efforts to increase student success through its Project Degree Completion initiative.

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