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APLU Names Institutional Award Winners at Annual Meeting

November 30, 2016

APLU named the winners of its four 2016 institutional awards at the APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, November 13-15. The awards recognize excellence in student success and degree completion; economic development; community engagement; as well as global learning, research, and engagement.

University of California, Riverside -- 2016 Project Degree Completion Award Winner

APLU named the University of California, Riverside the winner of its 2016 Project Degree Completion Award. The annual Project Degree Completion Award identifies and honors institutions employing innovative methods or programs to increase retention and graduation outcomes and/or close achievement gaps for all students or specific groups of students. To markedly boost graduation rates, UC Riverside reengineered introductory mathematics curriculum and employed new advising tools to target students at risk of non-completion. UC Riverside will receive a $15,000 prize to help expand and magnify its successful retention and degree completion efforts.

UC Riverside convened a Graduation Rate Task Force in 2013 to improve its degree completion rates. In the 2011-12 school year, its four-year graduation rate was 42 percent and the six-year graduation rate stood at 66 percent.

The efforts to improve graduation rates yielded impressive results. Four-year graduation rates in 2015 reached 53 percent, and six-year graduation rates were 73 percent – up 11 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from four years earlier.

Learn more

Portland State University -- 2016 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award Winner

In recognition of extraordinary community outreach, APLU named Portland State University the winner of the 2016 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award. As the 2016 winner of the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, Portland State University will receive a sculpture and a $20,000 prize to support its community engagement efforts.

Portland State University and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability have committed to a multi-faceted partnership that engages faculty and students from a variety of disciplines in education, research and service. The partnership supports the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s mission to “develop creative and practical solutions that enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places, and help plan for a resilient future.” For more than 25 years, Portland State and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability have engaged in this reciprocal relationship.

So far, the partnership has yielded:

  • Collections of longitudinal data that shape citywide waste management policy;
  • Climate change research and education that informs the regions’ Climate Action Plan;
  • Planning and development activities that promote an “Age Friendly City” agenda;
  • “Smart Cities” research and development focused on transit access and livability issues; and,
  • Placement of Portland State capstone students and interns in support of neighborhood-level activities which enhance livability for residents.

Learn more 

2016 Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Awardees

APLU named Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Montana State University and Purdue University winners of its 2016 Innovation and Economic Development (IEP) Award. The institutions competed in four different categories – talent, innovation, place and connections – that recognize different components of economic engagement. The winners of the awards honor public universities actively engaged in and promoting regional economic development.  Economic engagement efforts include universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities – innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

  • Arizona State University won the connections category. ASU repurposed a decommissioned United States Air Force Base for use as a new satellite campus hosting community colleges, a K-12 charter school, and Army Reserve center. Today, ASU’s Polytechnic Campus on the base educates 10,000 students enrolled in 40 degree programs. Students also join with industry partners on the campus to tackle issues facing their sector. The campus has emphasis on applied engineering.
     
  • Colorado State University won top honors in the place category. CSU created an Energy Institute to catalyze entrepreneurship in energy technology and spur the development of more clean, reliable, and abundant sources of energy. To date, the Institute has yielded $10 million in annual energy savings from student-run industrial audits and helped prevent 100 million pounds of Nitrogen Oxide pollution.
     
  • Montana State University earned top honors in the talent category. The university partnered with local Native American tribes to provide reservations healthcare while helping nursing students gain hands-on experience with patients. To date, more than 10,000 patient visits and medical exams have been performed through the collaboration.
     
  • Purdue University won the innovation category. In 2001, Purdue established its Discovery Park to undertake large-scale interdisciplinary research. The Park works on solving vexing global challenges at the nexus of food, energy, water, the environment, health, and security. Seventeen start-ups have been initiated by researchers at the Discovery Park in the past five years alone and more than 500 disclosures, patents, licenses/options were facilitated within the park.

Learn more about this year’s IEP Awards.

University of Minnesota – 2016 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, & Engagement

APLU named the University of Minnesota winner of its inaugural Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement. The award recognizes institutions at the leading edge of inclusive and comprehensive efforts to internationalize their campuses. The University of Minnesota established a wide-ranging internationalization effort that spans the entire institution – from international students and study abroad to research projects and curriculum design.

The University of Minnesota has a long history of prioritizing student mobility, intercultural learning, and fostering a welcoming environment to scholars from around the globe.  Building on that history, the university aims to create a “global culture” and ensure all students have access to international experiences. 

Among the first in the country, the University of Minnesota conducts and commissions a host of surveys and research projects to identify international student satisfaction, the educational impact of international students, and best practices for integrating international and domestic students.

Through its Curriculum Integration of Learning Abroad program, the university has nearly quadrupled the number of students studying abroad. And in 2015, it adopted a Grand Challenges curriculum that addresses global challenges through an interdisciplinary, solution-driven approach.

Institutions applying for the Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement underwent a rigorous application process that required documenting institutional commitment to comprehensive internationalization efforts.

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