UMaine selected to participate in Data Literacy Institute to advance student success 

The University of Maine is one of 12 public universities nationwide selected to participate in a Data Literacy Institute aimed at increasing the use of data to boost student success, including the number of graduates. 

Over the next two years, a UMaine team will participate in the institute that is part of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Powered by Publics initiative and offered in conjunction with the Association for Institutional Research.

The Data Literacy Institute will provide data literacy training and will support participants in applying new data literacy skills to a unique student success challenge at their institutions. The work aims to develop a data literacy program model that could be continued at participating institutions, and adopted by other colleges and universities nationwide.

In 2018, UMaine became one of 130 public universities and systems nationwide leading Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success, a new initiative to increase college access; eliminate the achievement gap for low-income, minority and first-generation college students; and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025.

“One of the central aims of Powered by Publics is to better leverage data to boost equity and student success,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Public universities have long recognized the immense value of using data to track and improve student success, especially for students from underserved populations.”

UMaine is the lead institution for the Northern Cluster of 12 collaborating institutions — one of 16 clusters currently implementing innovative and effective practices to advance student success. The Northern Cluster, led by Jeffrey Hecker, senior advisor to the president, is focusing on addressing affordability and has developed a self-assessment guide for institutions to review their policies and practices as they relate reducing the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The guide will be pilot tested by the Northern Cluster universities over the coming year. 

“The Powered by Publics initiative aligns beautifully with UMaine’s Strategic Vision and Values,” said Hecker. “Participating in APLU’s national initiative is providing us with access to resources, such as the Data Literacy Institute, and information on best practices, such as the affordability institutional planning guide, that will support our students’ success.” 

The 11 other institutions participating in the Northern Cluster are: Bowling Green State University; Central State University; Illinois State University; Kent State University; Miami University; Montclair State University; Oakland University; Towson University; University of Minnesota Duluth; Western Michigan University; and Wright State University.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745