October 11, 2018
California State University, Fresno was one of eight universities nationwide awarded a grant by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities to support student success through community partnerships. The $50,000 award will support expanding a partnership between the University, Fresno Unified School District and the State Center Community College District to build student success in mathematics along the educational pipeline. The grants, known as collaborative opportunity grants, are supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will support the eight universities’ efforts to leverage community partnerships to improve students’ access to, success in and completion of college. “The end goal of this work is to help students to succeed in university math classrooms and become good consumers of the mathematics they learn,” said Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe, chair of the Department of Mathematics. “We are exploring new ways by disrupting silos to connect high school, community college and university math professionals to pool their skills to create high impact math classrooms.”
September 19, 2018
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) recently announced grants to eight public universities that are forging community partnerships to improve students' access to and overall success in college. Supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Collaborative Opportunity Grants provide each institution with $50,000 to "collaborate, accelerate and improve implementation efforts," as well as additional support and resources from APLU and USU. Four of the grantees — University of Cincinnati, George Mason University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Wayne State University — are receiving funding for the first, time, while the other four — California State University, Fresno, Cleveland State University, the University of Memphis and the University of South Alabama — were awarded Collaborative Opportunity Grants in 2017 and are receiving additional funding to expand their projects.
July 27, 2018
The Democrat-crafted bill, a version of the Higher Education Act that is due for reauthorization, has some significant differences from the PROSPER Act, a Republican-sponsored plan passed earlier this year by the House. The HEA would, among other provisions, increase the annual Pell grant maximum; allow two tuition-free years at a community college; preserve the TEACH grant program that provides student aid to those who agree to teach certain subjects in high-needs schools; create competitive grant programs for future teachers and school leaders and preserve the provision in the HEA that allows teachers in some cases to cancel out their college debt. The Aim Higher Act “would make important progress in supporting college access, affordability and completion,” APLU president Peter McPherson said in a statement. “The bill includes a number of provisions that APLU supports and has advocated for over the years,” he said, citing annual inflation adjustments for Pell grants, fixing “flaws of the 90/10 rule” governing federal aid ratios and expanding the collection and reporting of higher-ed outcomes data to count all students.
July 27, 2018
Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a bill summary of the Aim Higher Act, their stance on how to comprehensively reauthorize the Higher Education Act, a critical piece of legislation guiding federal higher education policy, which due to lack of bipartisan agreement has not been renewed since 2008.
May 21, 2018
A decade after the last comprehensive overhaul of federal higher education law, Congress is again working on a rewrite of the nation’s higher education policy – with legislation that could come to the House floor this year. As our economy continues to produce outsized job growth for positions requiring a college education, it’s more important than ever that federal policy works to expand college access, foster college affordability, and strengthen workforce competitiveness.
May 17, 2018
Students across the country are walking across the stage this month to accept college diplomas, marking one of the most consequential achievements of their lives. Yet far too many of their peers come agonizingly close to joining them on the podium, only to fall just short of the credits needed to graduate. For some of these students, financial strain has simply knocked them off course. We tend to view financial aid as something that seals the deal for students: with the door of opportunity open, the only thing standing between them and a degree is their drive to complete it. But while financial aid sets students on the path to graduation, even the most determined students can fail to reach the finish line when financial shortfalls arise late in their college career.
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.