By Melissa Rivas
Melissa Rivas is an Assistant Director in APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation.
Last fall, a subset of 14 institutions (listed at the bottom of this post) participating in APLU’s Powered by Publics initiative piloted a tool called the Institutional Transformation Assessment (ITA) that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation developed. The ITA is a web-based tool that helps universities understand institutional strengths and areas for improvement with the goal of building capacity to better support students on campus and develop an action plan for reaching the institution’s student success goals.
The tool is rooted in the idea that addressing barriers to student success requires institutions to build essential operating capacity to advance equity and student success solutions throughout the student journey.
What We Found
The pilot of the ITA by a subset of institutions participating in Powered by Publics revealed that:
For the full report on the ITA pilot results and findings, please click here.
How It Works
The ITA has two components. The first is a survey comprised of 30 questions for leaders and 100 questions for other university stakeholders that are intended to assess core institutional operating capacities related to student success. The second component is a facilitated sensemaking conversation with key stakeholders from the university to review results and develop actionable next steps.
The ITA is informed by the work of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the National Association of College and University Business Officers, EDUCAUSE, and HCM Strategies.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation defines these core operating capacities as: leadership and culture, policy, institutional research, strategic finance, and information technology. Additional sections of the ITA help institutions assess their capacity in the areas of developmental education, student services, digital learning, and development of degree pathways.
The Participating Institutions
The institutions that piloted the tool are: University of Cincinnati; University of Louisville; University of Missouri-Kansas City; the University of New Mexico; University of North Texas; Rutgers University-Newark; Texas State University; University of Texas at El Paso; the University of Texas at San Antonio; University of South Alabama; the University of Toledo; Virginia Commonwealth University; Wayne State University.