University Innovation Alliance (Ascendium Education Group)

Project: Research project

Project Details


University Innovation Alliance (Ascendium Education Group) University Innovation Alliance (Ascendium Education Group) The UIA proposes to address the challenge of diagnosing and addressing high DFW rates by (1) scaling aneffective model from one member institution and studying its impact at others, and (2) developing a diagnosticframework to support other institutions looking to identify DFW issues and improve course success rates.Outputs from this project will include (1) direct support of approximately 1000 students across the UIA as theyretake courses with wraparound supports; (2) a public-facing playbook and DFW diagnostic frameworkdesigned to help any institution identify and address DFW roadblocks and scale the proven Accelerator modelto help students stay on track after unsuccessful course attempts. Over the past two years, the UIA has collected information from member campuses about their approaches tohelping students regain or maintain academic momentum amidst the pandemic. A leading model emergingfrom our network has been Georgia States Accelerator Academy , which GSU deployed using federal aid. TheAccelerator model includes 5 components: 1. Identifying first-year courses most critical to progression that show high DFW rates; 2. Inviting students who have previously earned a D, F, or W in those courses to retake the course bysubsidizing tuition and fees and providing a small progression grant; 3. Adding dedicated course sections to meet student retake needs; 4. Providing academic coaches to deliver holistic student learning support, and 5. Providing supplemental instruction and group tutoring to meet academic needs. In summer 2021, this approach resulted in over 400 GSU students who earned a D, F, or W advancing to earna C or better. Nearly 100 students earned an A the second time they took a required course from which theyhad previously withdrawn or failed. Whereas enrollment was determined based on academic rather thanbackground characteristics, participation was highly diverse (reflective of GSUs enrollment): in Summer 2021,63% of participants were Black, 63% were Pell eligible, 28% were first generation college students, and 67%were female. The UIA proposes to scale and test GSUs model across our diverse network of large public researchuniversities. A subsection of our network has indicated their interest in participating by scaling the full five-pronged Accelerator approach. Whereas the full network will engage in this project as learning partners and asco-creators of a DFW diagnostic framework, only a subset will participate directly in scale implementation andreceive funding to do so. These institutions will be identified based on their interest in and capacity toimplement the full Accelerator model within their campus context, and to meet cost-share obligations (includingprogression grant funds). Seven campuses have indicated their commitment to participating in this manner, with several others interested. Participating institutions span the southwest, midwest, southeast, and mountainregion and each reflects a unique state and campus context, with total undergraduate enrollment ranging fromapproximately 11,000 to 90,000. Allowing for contextual variation in order to maximize likelihood of impact and work within available resources,each campus will scale GSUs approach using the following steps: 1. Identify barrier courses (at least 1 per campus) 2. Create at least 1 duplicate sections of that course 3. Waive course tuition/fees and provide small progression grants to students who sign up to retake thecourse as part of the Accelerator course section 4. Provide academic coaches who check in with and guide students throughout the course 5. Deliver supplemental instruction and group tutoring throughout the course Participating campuses will document their adaptations, learning, and results scaling and adapting theAccelerator approach to fit their context. What we learn from scaling the Accelerator model can providevaluable and timely insights for institutions as they strive to improve DFW rates and equitable courseoutcomes. With this learning in hand and enhanced student academic support infrastructure in place,institutions can be better prepared to meet the demands of future crises that threaten to slow progress todegree and deepen equity gaps.
Effective start/end date12/1/226/30/25


  • Ascendium Education Group, Inc.: $2,500,000.00


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