Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities selected to participate in Transformation Accelerator Cohort

By Tom McGuire, Director of Communications and Media Relations

Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield Universities of Pennsylvania were among 15 institutions selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) 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 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, Lock Haven 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.)

"It is an honor to be one of just 15 institutions nationwide to be selected for this impactful and important program that focuses specifically on parity in student outcomes for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income students," said Bashar Hanna, president of Bloomsburg University and interim president of both Lock Haven and Mansfield universities. "The Transformation Accelerator Cohort will serve as a catalyst in continuing to advance practices and policies to ensure our campuses are places of welcome and courage, where every student, especially those of any difference, are embraced and supported. Their success is pivotal to the success of our campuses as well as our nation's success."

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 underrepresented students.

"The values and principles that the TAC espouse will help our campus communities grow and be better at understanding the student-experience may be different than our own," said Diana Rogers-Adkinson, BU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "It will also show that we need to view learning through an intersectional lens and to understand the needs of all student populations and more responsibly identify inequities. Finally, this program will challenge us to understand our biases, identify our contradictions, hold ourselves accountable, and strengthen our skills for our historically underrepresented populations."

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.

"This effort aligns perfectly with the mission of our a system of public universities-closing achievement gaps and ensuring every student has the opportunity to enroll, persist, and graduate," said Dan Greenstein, PASSHE Chancellor. "We have a responsibility to every one of our students from every part of the Commonwealth, and we are lucky to have institutions like Mansfield, Bloomsburg, and Lock Haven that have already made such incredible strides in promoting equitable outcomes for all our students. I look forward to seeing the work that results from this partnership."

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 Garcia. "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.