Completion of a postsecondary education or training program is critical to each individual’s social and economic advancement. But the college completion gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, not shrinking. Since 1970, bachelor degree attainment among students from wealthy families nearly doubled, but it has barely changed for those from the poorest families.
To address this issue of equity in student success and academic, USA Funds® is supporting the Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. AAC&U is a national association of more than 1,300 member colleges and universities concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.
With a $499,798 grant from USA Funds, during the next two years, 12 colleges and universities selected to participate in the AAC&U initiative will develop action plans for enhancing student success and academic achievement, especially among underserved populations of low-income, first-generation and minority students, as well as adult learners. These action plans, which will be shared with other postsecondary institutions to replicate on their campuses, will focus on:
- Increased access to and participation in high-impact practices that enhance student engagement and successful learning among students from many backgrounds.
- Increased completion, retention and graduation rates for low-income, first-generation and minority students, as well as adult learners.
- Increased achievement of learning outcomes for underserved students.
- Increased student awareness and understanding of the value of guided learning pathways that incorporate high-impact practices.
The grant project aims to advance USA Funds’ focus on Completion With a Purpose℠ by bolstering college completion rates among student populations that currently have low rates of success, so they are better prepared for rewarding careers. It is part of a portfolio of USA Funds grants to associations or consortia of postsecondary institutions, designed to promote innovative new approaches to the delivery of education to enhance student success.