TUSKEGEE, AL -- Tuskegee University today announced it is one of 16 institutions participating in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Powered by Publics initiative to receive additional investment and support to advance student-centered transformation. The cohort 16 of institutions will engage in an in-depth institutional needs assessment, share student success data, and receive targeted professional development and technical assistance based on needs in advising, college readiness policy and practice, and digital learning. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the effort.
“The Bill and Melinda Gates grant will allow Tuskegee University to develop interventions, plans and strategies to close the achievement gap for not only students of color, but more specifically, black males through its Quality Enhancement Plan and The Road from Early Achievement to Career High (REACH) Teaching and Learning Center,” said Dr. Kellei Bishop Samuels, Associate Vice President Institutional Effectiveness/Co-Director Quality Enhancement Plan.
“We’re very pleased to provide the opportunity to 16 Powered by Publics institutions to receive additional resources to enhance advising, support college readiness, and improve digital learning,” said Julia Michaels, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation. “Powered by Publics institutions are laser-focused on collaborating to advance equity, increase degree completion, and share key data and lessons. The 16 institutions participating in this cohort will serve as a model that other universities can draw from as they seek to strengthen their work in this space.”
Tuskegee University has instituted a suite of proactive measures aimed at closing the achievement gap among its students, through its SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): The Road from Early Achievement to Career High (REACH). REACH has an academic/career focus, which emphasizes the acquisition of career competencies and concepts that will provide students with the workforce development necessary to advance into competitive positions. Launched virtually in the fall 2020, the REACH Teaching and Learning Center provides services to students in the areas of academic coaching and skills, academic tutorials, career advising and education, and REACH advising.
“REACH services provide comprehensive, wrap around services to help students achieve their career goals by first fortifying their academic and soft skills, then combining these with career education and advising, said Dr. Maria Calhoun, Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering/Co-Director Quality Enhancement Plan. “Our REACH advisors work closely with students to develop individualized plans to assist them in achieving these goals.”
APLU's Powered by Publics initiative has convened nearly 125 change-ready institutions and state systems within 14 “transformation clusters” – reaching 3 million undergraduate students, including 1 million Pell Grant recipients. Each cluster is focused on solving different pieces of the student success puzzle as public universities work together to tear down long-standing barriers, eliminate the achievement gap, prepare students to thrive in the 21st century workforce, and collectively increase the number of degrees they award. The clusters are advancing collaborative work in thematic areas of affordability, holistic student supports, and teaching and learning, with equity and data as integral, cross-cutting components.
The other institutions selected for the effort are: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Clemson University; Illinois State University; Ohio University; Middle Tennessee State University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; University of New Orleans; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers University-Newark; University of South Alabama; Texas Tech University; Virginia Commonwealth University; Western Michigan University; University of Wyoming. Participating institutions will receive a $15,000 stipend to cover expenses related to participation, in addition to technical assistance and support services from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success network. The institutions will start their work this month and continue it through July 2022.
About the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.