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New Mexico State University

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NMSU helps launch national effort to increase college access, eliminate achievement gap

New Mexico State University today announced it is participating in “Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success,” a massive new effort where 130 public universities and systems will work together to increase college access, close the achievement gap and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025. The project is being organized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.


A student participating in NMSU’s commencement ceremony.
NMSU announced it is participating in “Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success,” an effort to increase college access and close the achievement gap. (NMSU photo)

“One of our top-level priorities for NMSU is to improve student success,” said NMSU President John Floros. “We’re working to help our students complete their academic studies on time and become highly qualified leaders ready for the work of tomorrow. This will be an opportunity for us to collaborate with other universities to share our findings and learn from others as to what is working best for them.”

The participating institutions will work within “clusters” of four to 12 institutions as they concurrently implement innovative and effective practices to advance student success on their campuses. Collectively, the institutions enroll three million students, including one million students who receive Pell Grants.

Powered by Publics represents the largest ever collaborative effort to improve college access, advance equity, and increase college degrees awarded. In addition to committing to those goals, participating institutions have pledged to share aggregate data demonstrating their progress to help spur lasting change across the higher education sector.

“Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a real and growing enthusiasm among public university leaders to advance college completion nationally,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “We have to seize the moment and mobilize institutions to improve not just college access, but also equity in student outcomes and the number of students who earn degrees. That’s what Powered by Publics is all about and why we’re thrilled to work with our member institutions toward such an important national goal.”

By design, the participating institutions reflect a wide array of institutional characteristics such as enrollment, student demographics, regional workforce needs, and selectivity. The broad diversity of the institutions is intended to help create a playbook of adaptable student success reforms that can be adopted and scaled up across a variety of institution types, including those with limited resources.

The effort will be overseen by APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation, which the association created this year to help drive transformational change across the public higher education sector. The center will regularly disseminate lessons learned from participating institutions.