Blog originally appeared at:
As we approach the 2022 Powered by Publics Convening in Denver on November 5, it’s worth taking stock of all we’ve accomplished through Powered by Publics since our work began in earnest four years ago. If you have not yet registered for the Powered by Publics convening, please do so. We’re so looking forward to gathering in person around issues such as advising, connecting data with strategies for institutional change, strengthening student belonging, and much more.
Together, the Powered by Publics community has made important strides toward addressing the root causes of inequitable student outcomes. Our work has spanned the breadth of promising solutions to student success barriers, including enhancing affordability, creating holistic student support services, and strengthening teaching and learning.
Start with affordability. Powered by Publics worked with nine institutions across four clusters to undertake an in-depth look at campus-based innovations for promoting college affordability and reducing student debt. The original research outlined the state of college affordability with attention to the experiences of minoritized and low-income student groups, preliminary insights into the results of emergency student aid delivered during the pandemic, and innovations to strengthen affordability and mitigate student debt.
We also made important progress in teaching and learning. For example, the Western Coalition led a cross-institutional faculty learning community to help scale simple but impactful changes to instruction to boost students’ sense of belonging, increase their success, and help close equity gaps at the course level (learn more about this important work here).
Developing holistic, wraparound student supports has been a priority for many Powered by Publics institutions. We looked at these supports with an eye to the experiences of students who are underserved. We know, for example, that transferring to a new college can be cumbersome and challenging for students, too often leading to lost credits and increased time in, and money spent on, school. Recognizing this challenge, the Southeastern Cluster has undertaken a thorough examination of transfer credit efficiency across several institutions with different approaches to transfer student support. The cluster will share the results of its work at the APLU Annual Meeting.
We’ve also worked hard to center the student experience with equity in mind. This summer and fall, Powered by Publics held four cross-institutional “equity roundtables” convening students, alumni, and administrators. The events were hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Texas at Arlington. The roundtables were extremely successful and resonated with students and alumni (several of whom asked when the next roundtable would be on their campus!) We’re excited to share insights they uncovered in a forthcoming report and webinar on November 29 – more details coming soon.
Of course, this is just a small sampling of the work we’ve accomplished together. For a more detailed recap, I encourage you to read the Powered by Publics progress report we published late last year. We’re looking forward to building on these accomplishments when we gather in person in a few short weeks!