Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

Clemson University Selected for Student Success Capacity Investment


Clemson University today announced it is one of 16 institutions participating in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Powered by Publics initiative to receive additional investment and support to advance student-centered transformation. The cohort of 16 institutions will engage in an in-depth institutional needs assessment, share student success data, and receive targeted professional development and technical assistance based on needs in advising, college readiness policy and practice and digital learning. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the effort.

“We strive to fulfill the mission of providing ‘a high seminary of learning’ to our students, and one of the best ways to do this is to continue to invest our time and attention in the undergraduate experience,” writes John D. Griffin, senior associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies at Clemson University. “Powered by Publics and the collaboration it brings will allow us to gain new insights and define opportunities around student success. We are all dedicated across multiple units – academic affairs, student affairs, institutional research, advising, strategic planning and student support – to maintaining a top-notch undergraduate education while also identifying and addressing areas where we can continue to improve.”

“We’re very pleased to provide the opportunity to 16 Powered by Publics institutions to receive additional resources to enhance advising, support college readiness, and improve digital learning,” said Julia Michaels, associate vice president and executive director of APLU’s Center for Public University Transformation. “Powered by Publics institutions are laser-focused on collaborating to advance equity, increase degree completion, and share key data and lessons. The 16 institutions participating in this cohort will serve as a model that other universities can draw from as they seek to strengthen their work in this space.”

Clemson University has been an active leader and participant in the Powered by Publics initiative over the past few years. The aims of Powered by Publics are our own aims: to improve student success and degree completion, to mitigate achievement gaps and to drive innovation through education. Clemson remains strong in undergraduate student success, measured through not only retention and graduation rates, but also through course-embedded assessment of student learning and participation in high-impact educational practices. As the number of applicants and enrolled students at Clemson continues to grow, we seek to maintain an excellent and inclusive undergraduate experience.

APLU’s Powered by Publics initiative has convened nearly 125 change-ready institutions and state systems within 14 “transformation clusters” – reaching 3 million undergraduate students, including 1 million Pell Grant recipients. Each cluster is focused on solving different pieces of the student success puzzle as public universities work together to tear down long-standing barriers, eliminate the achievement gap, prepare students to thrive in the 21st century workforce, and collectively increase the number of degrees they award. The clusters are advancing collaborative work in thematic areas of affordability, holistic student supports, and teaching and learning, with equity and data as integral, cross-cutting components.

The other institutions selected for the effort are: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Illinois State University; Ohio University; Middle Tennessee State University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; University of New Orleans; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers University-Newark; University of South Alabama; Texas Tech University; Tuskegee University; Virginia Commonwealth University; Western Michigan University; University of Wyoming. Participating institutions will receive a $15,000 stipend to cover expenses related to participation, in addition to technical assistance and support services from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success network. The institutions will start their work this month and continue it through July 2022.


APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement.  Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.

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