Commencement season always brings a period celebration, reflection, and anticipation. As we close this year’s season, we have an opportunity to not only celebrate the significant milestones our students have achieved but also redouble our commitment to equitable student success and the continual push to advance public higher education.
In this spirit of progress and promise, we recently introduced our newest resource, the Powered by Publics Equity Roundtables: A Guide For Universities, co-produced with Changing Perspectives. This comprehensive guide is a how-to manual for universities interested in deeply engaging students around taking steps to better support them and ensure their success, creating spaces for inclusive and action-oriented dialogue tailored to their student populations.
The guide provides a robust framework to facilitate everything from effective student recruitment strategies to designing engaging agendas to creating a safe space for open discussion. These roundtable events can catalyze significant change, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable higher education landscape.
This guide emerged from the Powered by Publics Equity Roundtables series, which gave a voice to students from low-income and minoritized backgrounds and facilitated constructive dialogue with university administrators. These roundtables encouraged a two-way conversation, allowing students to feel heard and administrators to respond in real-time. The impact of the roundtables, which involved 80 students and alums from 20 Powered by Publics and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities member institutions in the summer of 2022, was clear. These discussions broadened administrators’ understanding of student challenges and empowered students, making them feel influential in contributing to their institutions. The results of the initial roundtables have been compiled into a report, Advancing Equity, Centering Student Perspectives.
As we honor the accomplishments of our graduating students and release this guide in May, we also celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the rich diversity of cultures and contributions that have enriched our nation and our campuses. To see just one example of how APLU institutions are serving these students, check out the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s new Pathways for the Advancement of Pacific Islanders summer bridge program.
I invite you to embrace the Powered by Publics Equity Roundtables guide and actively engage in our shared mission. Together, we can harness our collective wisdom, passion, and dedication to drive positive change in higher education. By uniting our efforts, we can create a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous future for all our students.