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Meet Seven Urban Serving Universities Collaborating for Change

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Photo Courtesy of the University of Illinois at Chicago

They are not a club but enjoy a unique membership as part of a higher education cohort collaborating nationwide to transform their institutions from the inside out. They are seven, public, urban research institutions engaged in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of  Urban Serving Universities (USU) initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMFG), Collaborating for Change.

The seven institutions embarked on a journey with the Transformational Planning Grant (TPG) project directed by the USU/APLU Office of Urban Initiatives.  They are: California State University, Fresno, Florida International University, Georgia State University, Portland State University, Temple University, the University of Akron, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. This is what they’ve been doing and will evolve during the multi-year initiative.

California State University, Fresno is the lead institution in a collaboration between nine Hispanic serving institutions. They are transforming the education pipeline from kindergarten through college graduation in the San Joaquin Valley with Discovere a tablet technology initiative.

Florida International University  has launched UT3 – University Transformation Through Teaching – to support its university-wide process transforming 17 high enrollment (more than 40,000 students), high failure, high impact gateway courses as part of FIU’s multi-year plan to fundamentally reform pedagogy.

Georgia State University is establishing integrated, campus-wide norms for student success, developing pilots and scaling plans for several initiatives using big data.

Portland State University has reThink PSU, a presidential initiative driving campus-wide transformations aimed at improving student success outcomes, helping community college transfers pursuing a PSU degree, and meeting ambitious Oregon state goals for degree completion.

Temple University is transforming efforts to expand access for students with strong potential who don’t always perform well on standardized tests, and improve retention and timely graduation rates for all Temple students.

University of Akron is unbundling learning content, instituting competency based education, and reducing student costs with technology-assisted learning.

University of Illinois at Chicago is facilitating the UIC Experience, following a campus-wide internal review process with more than 200 faculty, staff, administrators, and students who reviewed all university programs, services, and polices for undergraduates. They have developed an evidence-based implementation plan to prioritize and evaluate a menu of recommendations.

Expect to hear from them.


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