November 8, 2021

AASCU Launches Initiative to Help Level the Playing Field for Student Success

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2021 – The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected 15 institutions, including two state systems, to participate in the newly launched Transformation Accelerator Cohort (TAC). The program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to help institutions eliminate race, ethnicity, and income as predictors of student success.

The inaugural TAC cohort – selected through a highly competitive application process – comprises the following AASCU institutions:

  • Albany State University (Ga.)
  • California State University-Fresno
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • College of Staten Island CUNY
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • PASSHE/Bloomsburg University, Lockhaven University, Mansfield University (Penn.)
  • SUNY College at Oswego
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Texas A&M Kingsville
  • Prairie View A&M University (Texas)
  • Texas A&M University System
  • Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • William Paterson University (N.J.)

Among the participants, representing rural, urban, and suburban areas across the country are seven Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs); three historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs); and three Asian American and Native American Pacific-Islander serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).

The selected institutions serve 120,525 students (FTE), with an average Pell eligibility of 48%.

The two-year, team-based learning journey accelerates institutional transformation by providing customized support for making data-informed decisions grounded in students’ realities. Campus leaders will learn best practices to close equity gaps and achieve student success goals for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students.

The TAC cohort approach involves peer-to-peer learning across institutions via in-person and virtual Student Success Academies. Participants will have access to resources, such as online modules and webinars, and receive support from subject matter experts in data analytics, equity, student success, advising, institutional transformation, and strategic and systems planning.

Each institution must assemble a campus team of key campus leaders. President engagement in the model ensures sustainable transformation.

“AASCU is proud to be leading the nation on postsecondary student success for America’s New Majority at state colleges and universities,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “For over 50 years, AASCU has partnered with member institutions to deliver on the American promise of access, affordability and educational opportunity. The Transformation Accelerator Cohort articulates an equity imperative to help everyone see their role in ensuring success for Black, Latinx, indigenous and low-income students.

TAC is an important part of a robust array of programs and services that AASCU offers to help its members achieve student success goals. The end-to-end guided learning experience empowers participating institutions to meet the unique needs of current and future students.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at