CSCU Receives Lumina Foundation Grant to Support Program Quality and Equitable Student Success

CSCU announced the approval of a $350,000 Lumina Foundation grant to support quality program evaluation and the improvement of teaching and learning for equitable student success

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) announced the approval of a $350,000 Lumina Foundation grant to support quality program evaluation and the improvement of teaching and learning for equitable student success.

The project, titled “Innovations in Academic Affairs: Pursuit of Program Quality and Student Success,” will evaluate academic programs to improve student results, close equity gaps, and prepare CSCU graduates to enter the workforce. It will also focus on the academic quality of credentials awarded by CSCU institutions.

The project is expected to have a positive impact upon underserved, minority students and will address three of Lumina’s priorities — equity, quality assurance, and student success — leading to improved student experiences and closing the equity gap.

“In developing this project, we wholeheartedly agree with Lumina’s commitment to equity and how the current higher education system must be redesigned to give all Americans – regardless of race, income and other socioeconomic factors – a fair shot at success,” said CSCU Provost Jane Gates. “This grant will allow program review to become the catalyst for assessing program quality and effectiveness, while providing the continuous improvement of teaching and learning to close the equity gap.”

Through this grant, CSCU will develop program evaluation processes leading to equitable academic programs, and all CSCU institutions will participate in the redesign of Academic Program Review.  In addition, part of the program review redesign will align program curriculum with Essential Employability Qualities (EEQ) to provide students the skills needed to enter the workforce.

“Many different groups have a role to play in assuring the quality of degree programs, but states can play a unique leadership role in driving needed improvements in outcomes,” says Debra Humphreys, vice president of strategic engagement at Lumina. “My Lumina colleagues and I are thrilled that the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is providing that leadership through this project. We’re particularly pleased to support their efforts to assure more equitable access to quality credential programs designed to open up meaningful opportunity for more people.”

The New England Commission for Higher Education, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes, and The Quality Assurance (QA) Commons will be included in the development of strong program evaluation processes.

Eastern and Western Connecticut State Universities; Charter Oak State College; Capital, Housatonic, Middlesex Northwestern Connecticut, Quinebaug Valley, and Three Rivers Community Colleges, will also partner with The QA Commons to self-assess program curriculum in relationship to future employment opportunities.

The grant runs through Jan. 1, 2022.

For more information

For more information, please contact Leigh Appleby, Director of Communications at 860-723-0617,