ECMC Foundation awards grants to institutions inspired by the work of the University Innovation Alliance
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—While college campuses rarely reach outside their walls to collaborate with other campuses, 10 postsecondary institutions have pledged to work together to share best practices, help pilot innovations and openly discuss risks and failures.
The new collaborations are the result of a challenge grant supported by ECMC Foundation and in partnership with the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a group of 11 public research institutions committed to increasing the number and socioeconomic diversity of college graduates.
Designed to spawn new campus networks that replicate the UIA's culture of collaboration, the challenge grant includes three awards of up to $75,000 to participants in the recent UIA National Summit who became inspired to develop and advance new collaborative work as a result of attendance.
"We are hopeful that the University Innovation Alliance's work is truly the beginning of an era—one where schools reach out to their peers across states and the country to ask for help, advice and insight," said Peter Taylor, president of ECMC Foundation. "We are excited to see how the UIA has already inspired great projects like these, and look forward to supporting the work."
To be eligible for the grant, teams of at least three campuses were encouraged to develop proposals to address persistence and graduation gaps among low-income, first-generation college students and students of color. These proposals could include new initiatives, or the scaling of existing successful programs across new campuses. Collectively, the grantees across the three campus networks span across eight states and enroll more than 150,000 undergraduates.
The awarded projects include:
The challenge grant was launched at UIA's Inaugural National Summit in April. The Summit is part of UIA's efforts to expand its reach and momentum in getting institutions to collaborate, scale and share innovations that improve college graduation rates for students from low-income, disadvantaged backgrounds. More than 300 leaders, administrators and faculty in higher education from 77 institutions attended the summit.
"If we want to really unlock the promise of higher education, colleges and universities can no longer go it alone. The UIA is working to scale innovation and inspire others to advance important change to benefit students," said Bridget Burns, executive director of the UIA. "We are thrilled at the level of enthusiasm and meaningful work coming out of the summit and could not be more grateful to have generous partners like ECMC Foundation who are committed to helping us inspire and build a student success movement in higher education."