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University Innovation Alliance receives grant to study academic advising

ASU is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance

ASU is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance.
Photo by: University Innovation Alliance

September 21, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) was selected as one of the winners in its First in the World competition to encourage innovation among institutions of higher education. Arizona State University is a founding member of the UIA.

Georgia State University, on behalf of the UIA, has been awarded $8.9 million to conduct a four-year research study on its 11 member campuses to evaluate the effectiveness of advising in increasing retention, progression and graduation rates for low-income and first-generation students.

Many of the UIA's programs and initiatives had their start at ASU.

"ASU is proud of its role as a leader within the Univeristy Innovation Alliance," said ASU spokesman Kevin Galvin. "The more that institutions of higher education can work together, share ideas and best practices, and offer support to one another, the better we will all be at serving our students and communities."

The project will study 10,000 students who are exposed to an intensive menu of proactive, analytics-based advising interventions at the UIA universities. Through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, the study will examine the benefits, especially for at-risk students, of introducing systematic, proactive advising.

“This grant illustrates why the alliance is so important. Over the next four years, our 11 institutions will produce groundbreaking evidence illustrating the impact of predictive analytics on student success that will have national significance,” said Dr. Tim Renick, vice president for enrollment and project lead at Georgia State University.

As part of the study, students at each of the 11 universities will be selected by random assignment. In addition to advising services typically offered, they will receive intensive, proactive advisement to help them establish individualized academic maps; real-time alerts prompted by a system of analytics-based tracking when they may be struggling; and timely, targeted advising interventions to get them back on the appropriate academic path.

Launched just one year ago, the UIA is a consortium of public research universities established to help more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds graduate from college. This year, all institutions are implementing or scaling the use of data analytics and advising to improve student retention and college completion.

The 11 member schools of the University Innovation Alliance are Arizona State University, Ohio State University, Georgia State University, University of California-Riverside, Iowa State University, University of Central Florida, Michigan State University, University of Kansas, Oregon State University, University of Texas at Austin and Purdue University.