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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has been awarded a $2.5 million, two-year grant to accelerate transformation and increase student success outcomes across AASCU’s membership network of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems. AASCU is one of only 12 organizations to receive the Intermediaries for Scale grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This award comes in support of AASCU’s emerging student success strategy, which five AASCU institutions are helping to refine and validate for wider use. These institutions—which vary in size, urbanicity, and student diversity—include Austin Peay State University (Tenn.); Bowie State University (Md.); California State University, San Bernardino; Lehman College of The City University of New York; and Northwest Missouri State University.

“AASCU has consistently embraced the transformational power of our state colleges and universities,” said AASCU President Dr. Mildred García. “Aligned with our new strategic plan and by harnessing our members’ collective knowledge, this opportunity will support AASCU’s commitment to effectively address the needs of our diverse student populations, particularly low-income, first-generation, students of color, and/or working adults.”

With the grant, AASCU will focus on four key goals: increasing awareness of successful and promising transformation strategies among campus leaders and communities; informing key campus-level decisions about change options and strategies and supporting decision-makers; supporting transformation by providing guidance and resources for adopting and adapting, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining changes in policy and practice; and building connections across colleges and universities and other supporting organizations to accelerate and streamline learning and sharing of promising practices.

“Not all postsecondary institutions have the resources to begin the structured transformation process necessary to narrow achievement gaps for current and future generations of students,” García added. “Our institutions are transforming students and their families and graduating engaged citizens for our global democratic society. We are honored to have been selected to participate in this important work.”

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.

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