Twenty-eight years after the passage of the Morrill Act of 1862, Congress enacted a second Morrill Act establishing Black land-grant universities. The legislation gave states funds to establish state universities for persons of color if race was an admissions factor at the existing state university. Commonly referred to as 1890 Universities, these institutions have a track record of “serving the underserved” and “reaching the unreached.” Today, these campuses are proud to remain the custodians of access to and opportunity for higher education in underserved communities.
The Council of 1890 Universities, comprised of presidents and chancellors of APLU-member historically Black land-grant universities, primarily addresses all matters pertaining to strengthening teaching, research and extension programs at these important institutions. The purpose of the Council is to represent collectively the interests of 1890 land-grant institutions while seeking to maintain, insure and increase funding, to present a unified approach for presentation of views regarding these institutions, and to serve as a forum to share ideas and resources. The Council works with other 1890 associations in developing a comprehensive agenda regarding congressional and federal policies and programs impacting 1890 institutions.
Degree Completion & Student Success
APLU is creating a new national Center for Public University Transformation (CPUT) to grow, innovate, and sustain effective solutions that are scalable across the diverse set of institutions comprising the public university sector.
Access & Diversity
Funded by NSF, the report examines trends in engineering degrees cto determine areas of growth among various groups, changes in racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in engineering, and which colleges and universities graduate a larger number of underrepresented groups in specific engineering disciplines.
Public research universities located in urban centers play a crucial role anchoring the community, fostering neighborhood and economic development of their cities, and advancing the health, education and well-being of city residents.
To help college and university leaders implement new systems for redesigning advising and supporting students across their campuses, APLU developed an online course: A SMART Approach to Student Success: Strategic Management of Advising Reform and Technology.
ASPIRE: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty is an NSF-backed initiative aimed at expanding the diversity of STEM faculty by increasing the number and percentage of underrepresented and traditionally underserved groups, consisting of women, members of minority racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Access & Diversity
The Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize and honor an individual who has made significant contributions within the major focus areas of the Commission.
Having a diverse faculty creates a campus climate of inclusion, enriches the learning environment, and increases community engagement. Faculty cluster hiring involves hiring groups of faculty around an interdisciplinary research topic. Institutions often use cluster hiring to boost diversity in high-need disciplines. The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and APLU joined with partner organizations to survey the landscape of cluster hiring programs and results across a diverse set of institutions.
In an effort to ensure cash‐strapped students with a proven record of academic success do not drop out due to financial need, some pathbreaking public universities are offering completion grants of a few hundred dollars to help students make tuition payments as they near graduation. APLU and USU are now building on this work by undertaking a rigorous empirical review of completion grants’ efficacy.
Degree Completion & Student Success
The Degree Completion Award recognize universities that have made significant progress in successfully retaining and graduating students while promoting those schools as models for other institutions.
Diversity in the biomedical sciences improves research outcomes, advances new cures and treatments, and aids recruitment of diverse patient populations for clinical trials. Yet there are few evidence‐based strategies for improving diversity within STEM and biomedical science doctoral programs. The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and APLU are working with a set of partners to change that.
Diversifying the workforce starts with college admissions. That’s why APLU, USU, and other organizations led a landmark study of holistic review in admissions to assess the state of holistic admissions practices across health profession schools and examine the impact of those practices on diversity, student success, and community engagement. USU's research outlines various admissions practices that can be adopted to improve diversity in health disciplines.
College Costs, Tuition & Financial Aid
APLU’s Public University Values (#PublicUValues) campaign seeks to help better explain key facts about the value of public universities and to clarify some common misconceptions.
Economic Development & Engagement
Education for employment upon graduation is important, but a four-year degree should also put graduates in a better position to adapt as employment requirements change throughout their careers.
APLU and USU are working with public universities to research, develop, and test new, scalable university business models that boost student learning and degree completion. These transformations are aimed at establishing a comprehensive playbook for overhauling how students progress through college. USU shares the practices and findings identified through this work with APLU members to help better serve their students.