Texas Tech University

Academic Readiness Focus of Newest Funds Received From the Association of Public Land-grant Universities

Amanda Bowman

March 23, 2021

Administration Building

As one of only 16 institutions chosen to receive the funds, Texas Tech University will use the opportunity to improve student success and retention.

As part of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' (APLU) Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success initiative, Texas Tech University is among nearly 125 institutions that have joined together to improve college access, advance equity and increase college degrees awarded.

Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes authored the proposal.

Today (March 23), the university announced it will receive additional investment and support from the initiative to advance student-centered transformation. Texas Tech was one of only 16 institutions chosen for the highly competitive grant, funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the only university in Texas to receive funds.

"This initiative is largely a professional development opportunity for participating universities, specifically drawing on three areas: high-quality digital learning, advising redesign and academic readiness support," said Patrick Hughes, vice provost for University Programs & Student Success, a professor of communication studies in the College of Media & Communication and author of the proposal. "Our proposal was to participate in academic readiness support to help accomplish our strategic goals to improve student success and retention at Texas Tech."

The cohort of 16 institutions will engage in an in-depth, institutional needs assessment, share student success data and receive targeted professional development and technical assistance based on needs in advising, college readiness policy and practice and digital learning.

"We're very pleased to provide the opportunity to 16 Powered by Publics institutions to receive additional resources to enhance advising, support college readiness and improve digital learning," said Julia Michaels, associate vice president and executive director of APLU's Center for Public University Transformation. "Powered by Publics institutions are laser-focused on collaborating to advance equity, increase degree completion and share key data and lessons. The 16 institutions participating in this cohort will serve as a model other universities can draw from as they seek to strengthen their work in this space."

APLU's Powered by Publics initiative has convened nearly 125 change-ready institutions and state systems within 16 "transformation clusters" – reaching 3 million undergraduate students, including 1 million Pell Grant recipients. Each cluster is focused on solving different pieces of the student success puzzle as public universities work together to tear down long-standing barriers, eliminate the achievement gap, prepare students to thrive in the 21st century workforce and collectively increase the number of degrees awarded. The clusters advance collaborative work in thematic areas of affordability, holistic student supports and teaching and learning, with equity and data as integral, cross-cutting components.

The other institutions selected for the effort are: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Clemson University; Illinois State University; Ohio University; Middle Tennessee State University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; University of New Orleans; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers University-Newark; University of South Alabama; Tuskegee University; Virginia Commonwealth University; Western Michigan University; and University of Wyoming.

Participating institutions will receive a $15,000 stipend to cover expenses related to participation in addition to technical assistance and support services from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Postsecondary Success network. The institutions will start their work this month and continue through July 2022.

About the APLU
APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.