March 14, 2018
Student success will be the theme of a new center dedicated to "public university transformation." The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has announced a new initiative to bring together a hundred public research universities organized in clusters to identify, refine and scale innovative practices to increase the number of four-year degree holders over the next seven years. The institutions that participate will share key data within the clusters and help to propagate the practices across higher ed.
February 27, 2018
With the goal of significantly increasing the number of graduates by the year 2025, the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) has launched an unprecedented nationwide collaborative effort. “When you look at degree completion among public [institutions] in this country, you’ve got some great stories,” said Peter McPherson, president of APLU. “Within states there are some really good stories of state universities. But there is not a national story; there’s not a national benchmark.
February 27, 2018
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville plans to be among 100 public universities taking part in an initiative to boost the number of college graduates nationally, a UA spokesman said. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on Wednesday announced the creation of a national Center for Public University Transformation. Participating schools will work in clusters of eight to 10 institutions on innovative teaching, advising or financial aid strategies. UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz in November was named to the 27-member board for the land-grant university association.
February 26, 2018
With graduation in sight this spring, Fresno State student Kelsey Decker was in a scary financial position. After receiving some federal aid, she still owed $600 for tuition and faced being dropped from classes if that was not paid quickly. She was also worried about paying the rent from her earnings working 20 hours a week at a retail greeting card store. Then Decker heard about a campus program that helps upperclassmen like her who are close to graduating but have financial troubles that could force them to drop out. She applied and was delighted to be awarded a $1,500 micro grant.
February 23, 2018
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced a new effort in which 100 public research universities — organized in clusters of eight to 10 institutions — will work together to increase graduation rates by hundreds of thousands by 2025. The clusters will develop, refine and scale innovative practices in a way that also aims to close the achievement gap, the group said. Participating schools will commit to sharing key data and advocating proven practices within their groups in an effort to develop models that could work on a larger scale.
February 21, 2018
A group of 100 public universities will work with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to produce hundreds of thousands of additional degrees while also reducing achievement gaps for underrepresented student groups. The college completion project, which APLU announced today, is the latest sign of greater urgency among public universities about graduation rates and student success, aided in part by performance-based funding formulas that are on the books in 35 states.
February 7, 2018
With their attention occupied by tax reform last year, the higher education lobby had a muted response to the GOP's first crack at overhauling the student aid system and how it keeps colleges accountable. That’s begun to change over the last month as major higher ed associations have issued forceful criticisms of the PROSPER Act, as Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have labeled their update to the Higher Education Act, while also alerting member institutions about perceived serious problems with the bill.
February 7, 2018
Over 50 years ago, with the creation of Pell Grants and federal student loan programs, college access became a national priority for higher education. In the last decade, a broad agreement has emerged that institutions also need to do more to help students complete their degrees. These targets of college access and completion are now taken for granted as guiding goals for postsecondary institutions.
February 5, 2018
For many low-income students, a small amount of money—$300 or $600 or $900—can make the difference between dropping out and receiving the diploma. Rather, financial challenges for many students do not stop when they receive scholarships, loans or income from jobs. Financial distress can follow students throughout their college journey. A winter heating bill, a dead battery, the cost of a textbook or a family member in need of medicine can derail students—many of whom are in good academic standing. Given this, how do we rethink financial aid to improve completion, not just access?
January 31, 2018
Math departments fail too many calculus students and do not adequately prepare those they pass. That is the message heard from engineering colleges across the country. Calculus has often been viewed as a tool for screening who should be allowed into engineering programs. But it appears to be failing in that regard, too. That is, it is preventing students who should be proceeding from going on, and it is letting students through who do not have the mathematical preparation that they need.