UofL joins in national effort to boost college access, degree completion

The University of Louisville has joined a massive new program aimed at improving college access, closing the achievement gap and helping hundreds of thousands of students earn a college degree by 2025.

The effort, Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success, is a collaboration of 130 public universities. The program was unveiled Nov. 11 during the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), which is organizing the collaborative effort.

Participating institutions will work in clusters. UofL is part of the metropolitan cluster, which comprises 12 institutions that face similar challenges such as educating students who are first-generation, low income and/or minorities.

“I’m so glad to be part of this incredible, exciting national collaboration,” said UofL Provost Beth Boehm. “We hope to leverage the power of teamwork to address common barriers that prevent our students from completing a college education.”

Boehm said provosts and other key administrators who are part of the metropolitan cluster spent nearly six hours Nov. 10 defining the issues and processes they want to address. “We felt energized by the work and ready to move forward,” she said.

According to the APLU, Powered by Publics represents the largest ever collaborative effort to improve college access and equity and increase the number of college degrees awarded. In addition to those goals, participating institutions have pledged to share aggregate data demonstrating their progress.

“Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a real and growing enthusiasm among public university leaders to advance college completion nationally,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “We have to seize the moment and mobilize institutions to improve not just college access but also equity in student outcomes and the number of students who earn degrees.”

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