Giving Compass’ Take:
• Hallie Busta covers the University Innovation Alliance’s achievement in uniting universities to improve college access and graduation rates.
• By cooperating instead of competing these universities have helped students graduate. How can this model be expanded across the country?
• Learn about approaches to philanthropy in higher education.
Higher education often gets criticized for its silos, both within institutions and among them. So when the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) launched five years ago, its bold ambition of getting universities to share ideas to help them improve college access was met with skepticism.
“This has been a fairly intractable space where every institution is doing really interesting experiments, and everybody has a narrative,” Bridget Burns, UIA’s executive director, told attendees at the Educause conference in Chicago last month. “(But) the diffusion of innovation is glacial, and most people are not very aware of what’s going on, and most people struggle with actually how to fix it.”
By examining and rethinking areas of the institution that could be improved with better data, more information-sharing and, in some cases, the help of technology, the UIA schools are on track to graduate an additional 94,000 students by 2025. That’s ahead of their initial mark of 68,000 additional students.
The group of 11 institutions comprises Arizona State, Georgia State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon State and Purdue universities, as well as the University of California, Riverside, the University of Central Florida, the University of Kansas and the University of Texas at Austin.
Together, they have examined how to collect and use data to spot students who are falling behind or may soon be — a process implemented increasingly across higher ed, though not without some criticism. Other areas of focus for UIA include redesigning the link between higher ed, career services and employers, and exploring how chatbots can be used on campuses. How colleges can become more user-friendly for adult learners is also expected to be on the table.
Read the full article about how universities are using their ‘collective scale’ to solve higher ed’s problems by Hallie Busta at Education Dive.
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