March 14, 2017
Shari Garmise, the executive director of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and vice president of the office of urban initiatives at the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, said that so far, every single completion grant recipient has stayed in school or graduated. Next up are randomized control trials at several of the universities. Garmise said that for some schools, the study opens a larger issue: Is financial aid just for giving students access to college? Or can it be used to help them complete it? “We have a problem to solve,” she said. “The deeper question is how do we rethink financial aid as part of the total student journey.”
February 6, 2017
Several public universities are taking part in a pilot program to provide small-dollar grants to help low-income students complete their degrees. The five-year project is a collaboration of Temple University and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, which will use a nearly $4 million grant from the Education Department to examine and build out completion aid programs at up to 10 universities.
November 16, 2016
Administrators are almost always happy to lead conference sessions about their institutions’ successes, but sessions centered on their failures are rare. You learn a lot from mistakes, sure, but standing up in a hotel ballroom to talk about how you and your colleagues screwed up — even with the best intentions — may not be a popular move back on campus. Setbacks are common nonetheless, as is benefiting from them. "Many of the things we do in higher education seem like good ideas at the time with the information we have, but there are certain things you can only see as do-overs," says Tiffany Mfume, director of Morgan State University’s Office of Student Success and Retention. "What we don’t do usually is admit that."
November 16, 2016
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. urged university leaders Tuesday to be sure that students do not feel harassed or intimidated in the wake of a divisive election that has left "many of our students feeling vulnerable." He spoke in Austin Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. King said that all students, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with respect. Higher education leaders need to send "a clear message" that campuses will not tolerate harassment, that "diversity is a value" and that they will "respond aggressively to places where safety is violated," he said.
November 13, 2016
More than ever, a college education is an indispensable qualification for American workers. Since 2008, 99 percent of all new jobs have gone to individuals with at least some college education. Median annual earnings, meanwhile, are $32,000 higher for bachelor’s degree holders than for workers whose highest credential is a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, that average wage premium translates into $1 million in additional earnings. And as technological advances accelerate and our economy grows increasingly sophisticated, a college education will become even more important.
November 4, 2016
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant universities, wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times: “Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to collectively increase the number of Americans earning a degree and share best practices that help to move the needle.” That’s an important step forward that deserves the support of the president of the United States.
August 22, 2016
Although the American public is often told that a college education will consign them to six figures of debt and diminished financial prospects, the truth is that 36% of public four-year university graduates complete their degrees without any debt, the average debt among borrowers is $25,500, and less than 2% graduate with more than $60,000 in debt. Never mind that a bachelor’s degree adds up to $1 million to a worker’s lifetime earnings. Even some college, particularly a two-year degree, adds to lifetime earnings. Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to collectively increase the number of Americans earning a degree and share best practices that help to move the needle. Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to collectively increase the number of Americans earning a degree and share best practices that help to move the needle. Many institutions are using predictive analytics and Web-based advising to help students chart a clear path to graduation. Some are providing retention micro-grants to low-income students – who are often in their senior year and on track to graduate, but at risk of dropping out because they are just a few hundred dollars short on tuition. Other institutions have proved that an advising session at the beginning of a student’s senior year can appreciably increase their chances of graduating.
August 8, 2016
Fresno State lauded for degree completions
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Fresno State one of five finalists for its 2016 Project Degree Completion Award.
The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward public universities across the country that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.
The award includes a $15,000 prize given to the winning institution to further its efforts to improve student outcomes. The winner will be announced at the association’s annual meeting in November in Austin, Texas.
July 29, 2016
Cleveland State University's efforts to enhance student success and strengthen economic engagement have received national recognition from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. "Raising degree completion rates remains key to achieving our national goal of 60 percent of adult Americans holding a bachelor's degree by 2025," APLU President Peter McPherson said in a release. "Cleveland State has made great strides in improving student retention and degree completion – and we're thrilled to share their experiences so other institutions can replicate their approaches and results."
July 29, 2016
Fresno State is one of five finalists for a national award recognizing its significant work to promote the retention and graduation of students. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named Fresno State as a finalist for its 2016 Project Degree Completion Award. The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward public universities across the country that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion. "Fresno State is honored by this national recognition of our bold efforts to better serve our students,” said University President Joseph I. Castro. “We are heartened by the significant increase in our graduation rate and focused on doing even better in the future as we strive for a 70 percent, six-year graduation rate by 2023."