Posted: 9/22/22

TAMIU Named Part of Expanded AASCU Initiative to Close Equity Gaps for Students


Dr. Pablo Arenaz
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU President  

A new comprehensive multiyear initiative designed to help institutions close equity gaps for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students led by six national and regional organizations will include Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) in its second national cohort.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced last week they will spend $100 million over five years to fund six nonprofit organizations working to help transform colleges. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), one of the six funding recipients, selected TAMIU to participate in the Student Success Equity Intensive (SSEI) (formerly the Transformation Accelerator Cohort). 

AASCU President Mildred García said AASCU is proud to play a vital role in the initiative. 

“AASCU is proud to be one of six recipients of funding from the Gates Foundation. The level of support is significant and means that AASCU member institutions will continue to lead the nation on postsecondary student success for America’s new majority at state colleges and universities,” García said.

She added that AASCU has a notable history of delivering opportunity. 

“For more than 50 years, AASCU has partnered with member institutions to deliver on America’s promise of access, affordability and educational opportunity.  The Student Success Equity Intensive articulates an equity imperative to help everyone see their role in ensuring success for Black, Latinx, Indigenous and low-income students,” Garcia noted.   

TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the University is eager to be part of this national initiative based on a highly competitive application process.

“TAMIU is committed to Accessibility, Affordability and Excellence in all its outreach, programs and research for all students.  To be selected as part of this innovative national initiative is an honor and we look forward to collaborating with our cohort members here in Texas and across the nation,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Joining TAMIU in the second national cohort selected from Texas are fellow Texas A&M University System members Tarleton State University, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas A&M University-Texarkana and West Texas A&M University.

Other cohort members include California State University, Stanislaus; Fort Lewis College, (CO); Georgia College & State University; Lehman College, The City University of New York; Middle Tennessee State University; Nevada State College; Portland State University (OR); Sam Houston State University (TX); University of Guam; University of North Georgia; University of Washington, Bothell, and Western Kentucky University.  

Cohort participants are from rural, urban, and suburban areas across the country, representing 11 Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions (AANAPISIs). Together, they serve 228,843 students (FTE), with an average Pell eligibility of 42%. 

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 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. 

The TAMIU effort is coordinated by Dr. Kevin Lindberg, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. 

For additional information, contact TAMIU’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or call 956.326.2180. 

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities 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.