• AASCU Hosts Student Success Capstone Events 

    Capstone 475

    Frontier Set Meeting

    Capstone 001

    Frontier Set Gala

    Capstone 105

    Frontier Set Gala

    Capstone-201

    Keynote speaker, Gabriela Torres, senior program officer from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Capstone 342

    Pilot Cohort Workshop 

    Capstone 436

    Group picture of Pilot Cohort attendees, AASCU staff, and keynote speaker - Gabriela Torres

    Capstone 092

    Dr. García speaking to Pilot Cohort at gala

    Capstone 110

    Pilot Cohort gala


    Photo Credit: Lisa Helfert for AASCU

    In April, AASCU hosted two events in Washington D.C., as part of two projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    On April 4-6, AASCU convened the six member institutions in AASCU’s Frontier Set—a project to identify successful strategies to improve graduation rates, especially for low-income, first-generation students of color—for a culmination event, as the grant is officially sunsetting on June 30, 2022. Additionally, on April 6-8, AASCU convened five member institutions, known as AASCU’s Pilot Cohort. The Pilot Cohort is a group of institutions that embarked on a new comprehensive set of activities to assist our member institutions as they focus on student success. This was their final culminating event, as the grant officially ends on July 31, 2022.

    Both events were held to celebrate the accomplishments these AASCU institutions made to improve their student success outcomes on campus.

    Since 2017 (for the Frontier Set) and 2019 (for the Pilot Cohort), AASCU has convened a national peer learning network of members undertaking similar student success transformation for a series of Capstone Events, allowing campuses to exchange lessons learned and promising practices. These groups of innovative thought leaders worked together to drive institutional transformation, close opportunity gaps for students on their campuses, and unpack how they are transforming their institutions by integrating solutions and capacities such as leadership, culture, institutional research and data, strategic finance, IT infrastructure, and policy. AASCU has learned a great deal from working with these institutions and has enjoyed supporting our members in their efforts to improve student outcomes. 

    Daniel Ward

    Daniel Ward from New Jersey City University gives a teaser into his Capstone Events project, which helped faculty and staff improve the University’s online learning.

    Terri Hayes

    Hear Terri Hayes from Northern Arizona University describe their Capstone Events project and how participating in the Frontier Set impacted their work.


    Not only were the Capstone Events an opportunity for AASCU to express gratitude to all participants for their dedication to this impactful work with award ceremonies, but AASCU’s student success team was also able to share the valuable lessons learned gained through this partnership. “It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside these institutions and watch their transformation journey over the last several years. The Frontier Set and Pilot Cohort institutions will forever be AASCU’s thought partners and we thank them for always showing up to this work with passion and with their students lived experiences at the forefront of all they do and advocate for,” stated Jacquelyn Jones, assistant vice president of student success.

    Additionally, participants shared their own insights on how the programs accelerated the work at their institutions during panel discussions and workshops. 

    Ralph Peetz

    Watch Ralph Peetz from the CUNY College of Staten Island share how he engaged with the Frontier Set to re-structure the student experience.