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University of Wisconsin Madison
Powered by Publics

Julia Michaels
Executive Director
Center for Public
University Transformation
(202) 478-6071
jmichaels@aplu.org

Media Contact:
Mike Brost
Assistant Director
of Public Affairs
(202) 478-6038
mbrost@aplu.org

Approach

The participating institutions will work within “clusters” of four to 12 institutions that concurrently implement innovative and effective practices to advance student success on their campuses. In addition to committing to those goals, participating institutions have pledged to share aggregate data demonstrating their progress to help spur lasting change across the higher education sector.

By design, the institutions in the effort reflect a wide array of institutional characteristics such as enrollment, student demographics, regional workforce needs, and selectivity. The broad diversity of the institutions is intended to help create a playbook of adaptable student success reforms that can be adopted and scaled up across a variety of institution types – including those with limited resources.

Strategic Priorities

Four strategic priorities guide Powered by Publics work. They are:

  1. Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color (Hispanic/Latinx, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Asian, and two or more races), and other populations for which the university aims to improve equity.
  2. Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
  3. Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of Affordability, Holistic Student Supports, and Teaching & Learning.
  4. APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.

The Powered by Publics initiative was paused for three months in Spring 2020 to allow institutions to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Upon reconvening, the lead institutions of Powered by Publics and APLU re-committed to the initiative’s vision, goals, and values, and agreed on a roadmap for phased re-engagement in the project. 

Leadership

The effort is overseen by APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation, which the association created to help drive transformational change across the public higher education sector. A core value of the Center and its participating institutions will be rooted in a commitment to sharing data and innovative, successful practices to help drive progress across the entire sector of public higher education. The Center will regularly disseminate lessons learned from the participating institutions to the broader public higher education community.

A national advisory council of respected higher education thought leaders will provide a strategic vision and guidance for the Center, which will work to build upon and complement existing initiatives around institutional change and student success.

Project Highlights

  • 130 change-ready universities and state systems
  • 16 transformation clusters
  • 3 million undergraduates

Project Goals

  • Produce hundreds of thousands more graduates by 2025 with an emphasis on underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students.
     
  • Cut in half the achievement gap by 2025 for underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students while increasing access.
     
  • Share key data, learning, and effective practices to drive innovation and transformation across the higher education sector.

Strategy

Four strategic priorities guide Powered by Publics work. They are:

  1. Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color.
     
  2. Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
     
  3. Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of Affordability, Holistic Student Supports, and Teaching & Learning.
     
  4. APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.