A grant of nearly $12 million will leverage innovation to support a vision that expands access to higher education

ASU initiative focuses on innovations to empower learners


A grant of nearly $12 million will leverage innovation to support a vision that expands access to higher education

With a shifting landscape facing learners of all kinds, Arizona State University (ASU) is launching a new initiative to accelerate the university’s efforts to redesign American higher education and focus on innovation.

The overall goal is to broaden access to world-class education methods and cutting-edge technological innovations that are tailored to empower students and be responsive to their specific needs and goals.

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ASU’s University Design Institute (UDI) will coordinate the initiative and support other universities to implement their own culture change initiatives. The former teachers’ college stands out among research universities in such factors as its 380 percent increase from 2002 to 2019 in enrollment of students from low-income families. During this same period, first-generation undergraduate student enrollment increased from 7,500 to nearly 26,000, Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment increased from about 5,000 to 20,500, and Black undergraduate student enrollment increased from less than 1,500 to more than 4,500.

The initiative is supported by the Stand Together community through financial commitments by the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF), the Morgridge Family Foundation (MFF), Michael and Beth Kasser, Ambassador Frank and Kathy Baxter, Mike and Cindy Watts, the O’Neil Family Foundation, and Gary and Claudia Phillips.

Laura Ascione