Education after high school is key to economic and social mobility in today’s world. But too many students – especially low-income and first-generation students, students of color, and working adults – face significant hurdles in their efforts to earn a post-high school credential. Many of these hurdles stem from the fact that colleges and universities are not set up to meet the needs of today’s college students, who bring a wide range of experiences and responsibilities to their studies.
But how can institutions and state systems ensure that more students get to and through their programs and close attainment gaps across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, especially in an environment of constrained resources? What are the strategies that can propel campuses and systems of all types toward these goals?
Enter the Frontier Set, a select group of diverse, high-potential colleges and universities, state systems, and supporting organizations that are committed to dramatically increasing student success and erasing access and success gaps by transforming how they operate.
Over the next several years, members of the Frontier Set will focus on:
1. Implementing and integrating practices and policies associated with significantly increasing student outcomes. These include enhanced planning and student advising, increased use of digital learning tools to address student needs, and redesigned remedial education that represents a way up rather than a way out for students.
2. Strengthening institutions’ ability to take on and sustain change. Experience shows that several factors make a difference in whether and how change happens. Here we are talking about things like leadership, strategic finance, technology infrastructure, data analysis for decision making, and state/federal policy.
3. Sharing progress, insights, and lessons learned inside and outside the Frontier Set. The emphasis will be on sharing practical and actionable knowledge and evidence focusing not only on the “what” of change but also the “how.”
The foundation is supporting the work of the Frontier Set out of a belief that intentional, collective action among a wide range of institutions will accelerate the kind of change needed to meet aggressive attainment and equity goals.