ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) will lead a national effort that has the potential for transforming Native student success and completion at 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities over the next five years. As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation postsecondary work to close disparities in student outcomes by catalyzing commitments, prioritizing components and approaches, and supporting institutions through communities of practice, AIHEC will join five other higher education non-profit organizations as Intermediaries for Scale (IfS). A key aspect of the new initiative for AIHEC will be to adapt, deploy and continuously improve solutions and capacities at TCUs that have demonstrated success in helping some institutions transform student outcomes. The IfS will:
- Increase awareness of promising, effective transformation strategies for equitable student success among campus leaders and communities
- Inform campus-level decisions about change options and strategies and support decision makers to enable equitable transformation
- Support equitable transformation by providing guidance and resources for adopting, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining changes in policy and practice at scale
- Build connections across colleges and universities and other supporting organizations to accelerate learning and sharing of promising practices for equitable transformation
As an intermediary, AIHEC’s strategy will be grounded in the cultural values of sovereignty, place, personal gifts, and community.
“AIHEC is committed to honoring tribal identity, Indigenous knowledge, sovereignty of tribal nations and the unique, holistic, spiritual, community/family, and place-based foundation of TCUs – these values and this commitment have made TCUs successful despite little recognition and few resources,” said Carrie Billy, President & CEO of AIHEC. “We are thrilled that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation acknowledges the importance of our mission and work, as well as the missions, expertise, and needs of TCUs, which were founded in part as a response to the failure of the traditional higher education system to serve Native students.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for the 35 tribal colleges and universities,” said Erica Moore, AIHEC Executive Director of Native Student Success. “As intermediary, AIHEC will offer support and guidance as they transform student success at their respective institutions. This initiative will allow tribal colleges to maintain authority and autonomy through their direct involvement in the development, implementation and facilitation of critical processes that will have meaningful impact upon their students and communities.”
Intermediaries are responsible for selecting and supporting colleges and universities that will participate in this effort, and AIHEC will include all interested TCUs. The goal for transformation is to spark change and improvement at an institutional level. This will be assessed using key measures such as completion/success, retention, and course completion.