The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) have announced grants to eight public universities supporting the piloting and scaling of university-community partnerships focused on advancing student success.
The Collaborative Opportunity Grants are part of an effort by public universities to develop new strategies to improve student success. They are supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will support the institutions’ efforts to leverage community partnerships as a means of improving students’ access to, success in and completion of college.
Four of the eight institutions awarded grants are receiving initial funding from APLU and USU to advance community-university partnerships that improve student success. After being awarded initial Collaborative Opportunity Grants last year, the other four institutions are receiving additional funding to expand and enhance projects already underway. Each of the eight institutions will receive $50,000 to collaborate and improve and accelerate implementation efforts, as well as support and resources from APLU and USU to scale their efforts.
The four institutions receiving funding for the first time are the University of Cincinnati, George Mason University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Wayne State University. The four institutions that previously have received the grants are Cleveland State University, the University of Memphis, the University of South Alabama and California State University, Fresno.
“The institutions being awarded grants are working to tackle the obstacles facing students with innovative and dynamic new approaches,” said Shari Garmise, vice president of APLU’s Office of Urban Initiatives. “As these institutions have shown, tackling challenges is often most effectively done through partnerships with other community stakeholders that bring added resources and insights. And we’re finding that substantial student success gains can be achieved through that collaboration.”
In addition to having to collaborate with an external partner and align with investment priorities, the grantees had to show that their program is an emerging approach to student success and demonstrate that their institution has capacity to sustain and scale the effort. The grantees also had to outline a quantitative and qualitative assessment plan to track the program’s efficacy.
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