A new project by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities hopes to encourage inter-institutional cooperation and increase equity and college completion at 100 “change-ready” universities.
The APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation plans to bring together 100 universities within 10 “transformation clusters,” or groupings of universities. Through the program, Project Degree Completion, the APLU will work with public research universities to facilitate collaborative progress and determine the most effective ways to address low college completion rates. The Center hopes to find solutions that are applicable across the diverse range of public universities in the United States.
Julia Michaels, director of the Center for Public University Transformation, said the project arose from APLU President Peter McPherson’s conversations with various university presidents and chancellors.
“One thing he noticed is that the conversation has really been shifting from getting students access to college to making sure that they complete college and are successful — not just in academia but also in the workforce — and that they’re well prepared for the jobs that the labor market has to offer,” she said.
The center’s main project right now is the Transformation Cluster Initiative, according to Michaels. The clusters will bring together universities based on a variety of factors, such as location or common priorities, to encourage collaboration.