Powered by Publics

Equity Roundtables

In 2022, a group of universities participating in Powered by Publics universities, along with members of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, were competitively selected to hold a series of roundtable discussions with students, alumni, and administrators around what needs to change to achieve equity in higher education. 

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Texas at Arlington hosted the roundtables. The roundtables engaged students, administrators, and alumni from 20 institutions, provided critical insights into the student experience and how institutions can better address students’ needs through institutional policies. APLU issued a report, Advancing Equity, Centering Student Perspectives, summarizing findings from the webinars. APLU also hosted an accompanying webinar, PxP Equity Roundtable Virtual Convening and Report Release. During the webinar, students said:

  • Institutions had resources for students to take advantage of, but students bore most of the responsibility for finding these resources and establishing a comprehensive support system for themselves.
  • Traditional hours of operation for student support services create barriers to access for non-traditional students who may commute, be enrolled part-time, and take evening classes.
  • Finances continue to be a significant barrier to college access and student success.
  • Orientation and transition programs did not sufficiently reach every type of student, suggesting a need for more targeted supports.
  • Students often experience student support services as siloed.
  • Career services often focuses attention on traditional and STEM students, which may disadvantage non-traditional students as well as those studying social sciences and the humanities.

In an effort to provide institutions with tools to engage students around equity and student success issues, APLU released in May 2023, Powered by Publics Equity Roundtables: A Guide for Universities. This resources is a how-to guide for institutions interested in deeply engaging students around taking steps to better support them and ensure their success. The guide provides institutions an adaptable resource for hosting equity roundtables of their own to engage students and administrators in addressing barriers to equitable student success. 

This project helps advance Powered by Publics’ first strategic priority – taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color. For more information, please contact Alcioné Frederick at afrederick@aplu.org.

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report