UIA University Innovation Alliance (ECMC Foundation): R-2001-13052 College Success

Project: Research project

Project Details


UIA University Innovation Alliance (ECMC Foundation): R-2001-13052 College Success UIA University Innovation Alliance (ECMC Foundation): R-2001-13052 College Success This investment would (1) support the development and testing of UIA resources to help additional campuses make progress on student success, and (2) provide organizational capacity to build and sustain an expanded network. Over the next three years, this grant would enable the addition of two FTE focused on orienting and engaging 10-12 new UIA institutions and facilitate the design, testing, and release of campus-facing resources based on our learning from scaled interventions, strategies for identifying and removing roadblocks to student success, and tools to support campus decision-making and innovation around student success priorities. We learned a great deal about how to engage and support additional institutions through ECMCF's generous first investment. Based on our experience with the Summit, ECMC collaboratives, and inclusion of external campuses in our private UIA convenings, we know expanding our alliance will require thoughtful planning, intentional orientation of new institutions, and increased staff capacity to deliver on current and future member expectations. Leveraging all we have learned, we are preparing to select 10-12 new institutions to join the alliance, and will support them as they locate where they are on their student success journey, develop an institutional student success strategic plan, and advance their student success goals. Based on student success needs assessment conducted in summer and fall 2019 (described below), we know there is need and demand across the sector for the support UIA provides. The UIA is the only membership organization focused specifically on student success innovation. We have an opportunity to extend our support of the sector by incorporating additional member institutions, and we can also improve the ways in which we share what we learn with others. By broadening membership in the alliance, we can ensure greater geographic representation within the alliance, learn from and test interventions in more varied institutional contexts, and improve the odds of success for hundreds of thousands of additional students. Simultaneously, by creating a more widely accessible membership tier, the University Innovation Network (UIN), we can support other institutions and cultivate future UIA members. While we are excited to grow the core UIA, we also recognize that we cannot restrict the learning, resources, and momentum we generate to just the institutions in the alliance. Thus, the UIN will provide an opportunity for many additional institutions to join a professional membership community committed to student success innovation, connect with curated UIA resources and student success experts, and attend the Summit at a discounted member rate. Pending final approval by our board in early March, we anticipate two cycles of new member selection and orientation from 2020-2022. We would review candidates for UIA membership in summer and fall 2020, with final selection of a first cohort of 5-6 new members by December 2020. In spring 2021, the UIA would conduct campus visits to each of these new institutions to support their orientation into the alliance. All members would then participate in the spring 2020 UIA convening - the first gathering of the expanded network - followed by our annual liaisons' planning retreat for senior leaders in July 2021. Review of potential new members for a second cohort of 5-6 new institutions would open in summer 2021, with review in fall and final decisions by December 2021. In spring 2022, the UIA would conduct campus visits with the second cohort of new members, culminating again in a late spring 2022 convening and summer liaison planning retreat for our senior leaders. We are already engaged in the buildout of an online community that will become the resource hub for the University Innovation Network. Alpha launch and beta testing for this online portal will occur in spring 2020, with the UIN launching formally by the end of 2020 (likely with an announcement at the 2020 UIA Summit in October). UIN members would purchase a campus subscription and gain access to online resources, virtual coaching, and a member rate for Summit attendance. This intensive expansion effort would build upon the UIA's continued work supporting our campuses through current scale projects, the UIA Fellows Program, and the daily operation of the alliance. The addition of two new FTE devoted to membership support will be critical to the successful orientation and engagement of new campuses, including the selection of UIA Fellows at each new campus, identification of liaisons for each campus, data collection in partnership with each campus, and the development and maintenance of resources and tools based on the UIA's learning and strategies to date. Support from ECMCF would provide capacity for this expanded work and enable the UIA to continue engaging our current members at the same level. In this new and exciting chapter, the UIA is poised to (1) expand our commitment to narrowing attainment gaps by race and income by engaging and supporting additional institutions committed to these goals, and (2) reduce our dependence on philanthropy and adopt a more self-sustaining business model. Since our founding in 2014, the UIA has been a beacon to the field and catalyzed a national student success movement. Expanding beyond our original 11 members will encourage and incentivize ambitious student success improvement work by other campuses. We believe the UIA has an opportunity and a responsibility to evolve and expand in service of low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color across many more institutions of higher education, and we would be grateful for ECMF's continued partnership in this effort.
Effective start/end date5/1/204/30/23


  • ECMC Foundation: $800,000.00


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