MTSU among 19 institutions selected for national initiative to close equity gaps for students

Oct 10, 2022 at 11:00 pm by Voice Wire

(RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN) As a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Middle Tennessee State University is among 19 member institutions selected to execute a comprehensive multiyear initiative designed to help institutions close equity gaps for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students.

The AASCU, a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems, is among six national and regional organizations selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to participate in the effort.

In support of this initiative, AASCU has selected 19 institutions, including MTSU, to participate in the Student Success Equity Intensive, or SSEI (formerly the Transformation Accelerator Cohort). This is the second national cohort–selected through a highly competitive application.

Rick Sluder, MTSU’s vice provost for Student Success and dean of University College, said the university is fortunate “to be able to work with a cohort of like-minded institutions who are deeply committed to this work.”

“The incredibly generous support of the Gates Foundation allows us to work with leading providers and consultants, further focusing and intensifying efforts already underway as a part of Quest 2025,” Sluder said. “All of this is specifically designed to improve student outcomes, a decade-long commitment of MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.”

Quest 2025 is a universitywide initiative that “focuses on student success marked by a deeper, broader, and more equitable academic and student life experience that extends learning beyond graduation.” It builds upon the Quest initiative launched in 2013 that focused on improving student retention and graduation rates.

AASCU President Mildred García said her organization is proud to be one of six recipients of funding from the Gates Foundation.

“The level of support is significant and means that AASCU member institutions will continue to lead the nation on postsecondary student success for America’s new majority at state colleges and universities,” García said. “For more than 50 years, AASCU has partnered with member institutions to deliver on America’s promise of access, affordability, and educational opportunity. The Student Success Equity Intensive articulates an equity imperative to help everyone see their role in ensuring success for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students.”

AASCU institutions serve as engines of opportunity for social and economic mobility, and “this investment recognizes that AASCU is a national leader in the effort to scale student success,” added Terry Brown, AASCU’s vice president of Academic Innovation and Transformation.

Other participating institutions include California State University, Stanislaus; Fort Lewis College, Colorado; Georgia College and State University; Lehman College; The City University of New York; Nevada State College; Portland State University, Oregon; Sam Houston State University, Texas; Tarleton State University, Texas; Texas A&M International University; Texas A&M University; Texas A&M University-Central Texas; Texas A&M University-Commerce; Texas A&M University-Texarkana; University of Guam; University of North Georgia;  University of Washington Bothell; West Texas A&M University; Western Kentucky University. 

Sections: Education