November 6, 2023

More AASCU Institutions Selected to Join National Initiative to Close Equity Gaps and Boost Student Success

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

CHICAGO, November 6, 2023 – The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected 18 institutions to participate in the third cohort of the Student Success Equity Intensive (SSEI).

SSEI is a comprehensive multiyear initiative designed to help institutions close the equity gaps of their Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students. SSEI is supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With today’s announcement, the total number of SSEI participants is now 52 institutions.

The latest cohort—selected after a rigorous application process—is made up of the following AASCU institutions:

  • Arkansas Tech University
  • Cleveland State University (OH)
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Grand Valley State University (MI)
  • Indiana University East
  • Indiana University Kokomo
  • Indiana University Northwest
  • Indiana University South Bend
  • Indiana University Southeast
  • Medgar Evers College – The City University of New York
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Rutgers University-Newark (NJ)
  • San José State University (CA)
  • State University of New York at Old Westbury
  • SUNY Brockport (NY)
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of South Carolina Upstate
  • Weber State University (UT)

“The Student Success Equity Intensive helps level the playing field for student success,” said Jacquelyn R. Jones, AASCU’s assistant vice president for student success. “We enjoy working with AASCU institutions as thought partners as we work tirelessly to close equity gaps and break down barriers for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students.”

SSEI participants represent rural, urban, and suburban campuses from around the country. In the newest cohort, there are six Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), four Asian American and Native American Pacific-Islander-serving institutions (AANAPISIs), and one Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) in the cohort. The selected institutions serve 146,645 students (FTE) with an average Pell eligibility of 39%.

The comprehensive, team-based learning journey accelerates institutional transformation by providing customized support for making data-informed decisions grounded in students’ realities. Campus leaders will work as a cohort and learn promising practices to close equity gaps and achieve student success goals for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students to ensure that race and income are no longer predictors of success.

The SSEI 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 team of key campus leaders. President engagement is an integral component to the model to promote sustainable transformation.

SSEI 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.

“AASCU is proud to continue promoting postsecondary student success among America’s new majority at state colleges and universities,” said José A. Cabrales, AASCU’s executive in charge. “Since 48 percent of undergraduates at AASCU institutions are students of color, this expansion of SSEI is a powerful investment in helping diverse students succeed in college and beyond.”

The previous SSEI 2021 and 2022 cohorts can be viewed here and here respectively.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 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.