New Mexico State University 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. | NMSU photo by Josh Bachman

New Mexico State University selected for student success capacity investment

New Mexico State University 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 of 16 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.

“NMSU is very pleased to be selected to participate in ‘Transforming Institutions to Increase Student Success,’ a Powered by Publics project of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities,” said NMSU Provost Carol Parker. “This data-centered, collaborative project aligns directly with our LEADS 2025 strategic plan’s goals for equitable improvement of student success. The project’s institutional needs assessment and data-gathering activities will both help improve our existing student success strategies. We also believe our participation will aid us in refining and reforming our first-year and general education curricula to be more equitably serving all of our students.”

Parker said the architects of the project are David Smith, associate provost for curriculum and assessment, and Patrick Turner, director of the First Year Initiatives. Smith and Turner lead NMSU’s efforts in APLU’s Powered by Publics initiative.

“This opportunity is one of many examples of our productive relationship with the APLU and its Powered by Publics initiative,” Smith said. “I’m particularly excited to use these activities to improve our data gathering and analysis processes in support of our strategic student success goals.”

Turner said the APLU Powered by Publics initiative allows for NMSU to cultivate change through an equity-minded lens at scale. The work conducted at NMSU will be shared with other institutions around the U.S.

“This is a great opportunity for NMSU to collaborate and engage in robust work alongside other selected institutions to redefine the student experience, foster inclusive behavior and reimagine what is meant by student centeredness,” Turner said. “The landscape of higher education has drastically shifted which requires colleges and universities to make bold, innovative and forward-thinking decisions that resist the reaction to rely on outdated solutions to address new challenges.”

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.

For more information about NMSU’s efforts, click here. For more information about the APLU’s transformation clusters, visit APLU’s website.

“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.”

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; University of New Orleans; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers University-Newark; University of South Alabama; Texas Tech University; Tuskegee University; Virginia Commonwealth University; Western Michigan University; and 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.

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 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.

Author: Adriana M. Chávez – NMSU


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