Senior leaders from nine colleges and universities gathered at ACE April 8-9, charged with the urgent mission of constructing initiatives to significantly increase the number of first-generation and nontraditional students who gain a college degree.
The nine institutions are participating in ACE’s Change and Innovation Lab (CIL). During the 18-month project, they will work to put scalable and sustainable attainment initiatives into effect on their campuses and identify how these practices can be applied broadly at institutions across the country.
Participating in the Change and Innovation Lab are teams from Brandman University (CA); Cambridge College (MA); Edinboro University (PA); Georgia Gwinnett College; Graceland University (IA); Hiram College (OH); Lehman College (NY); Mercy College (NY); and Winthrop University (SC). Each team includes the school’s president or chancellor and chief academic officer.
The criteria for selecting CIL institutions encouraged high-access institutions to participate, including colleges and universities that enroll large numbers of Pell Grant recipients, have a history of serving or the capacity to serve nontraditional learners, and are interested in using technology and data to improve attainment rates.
ACE President Molly Corbett Broad noted that institutions participating in the Lab “are engaged in meaningful exploration of initiatives aimed at mobilizing higher education to increase student success and attainment nationwide.”
Cathy A. Sandeen, ACE’s vice president for education attainment and innovation, said the Lab’s goal is to hatch bold strategies for increasing attainment rates, with a focus on change leadership, faculty engagement and the smart use of data, and in ways that can be carried out on a large scale.
“The work being undertaken here is an important step in achieving the type of transformational change that is needed to reach ambitious national attainment goals,” Sandeen added.
The project is generously supported by Lumina Foundation.