UOG joins initiative to close student equity gaps


A cultural performance is featured during a University of Guam celebration. (UNIVERSITY OF GUAM)

The University of Guam is among nearly two dozen colleges and universities across the nation recently selected to participate in an initiative—funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—to help the institutions close equity gaps for low-income, indigenous, Black, and Latinx students.  

The Student Success Equity Initiative will enable UOG and other institutions under the American Association of State Colleges and Universities umbrella to work collectively on student success, learn from one another with support from AASCU and from subject matter experts, and access tools and strategies through engagement in the association’s networks, according to AASCU. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the AASCU to administer the initiative as part of a broader grant. 

“UOG’s selection to participate in this initiative will help validate our efforts to further support the needs of our students from Guam and the rest of the Western Pacific who face additional hurdles as members of low-income households and as children of families that may be seeing their first-generation of students aspiring to complete college for the first time,” said Lawrence F. Camacho, dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success.    

“In this complex and rapidly changing world, we aim to foster an inclusive and secure environment that is grounded on the CHamoru and Micronesian values of respect, compassion, and community,” Camacho said.  

Though the initiative does not provide direct funding to UOG, the value of participation comes from the coaching, networking, and other resources and services that will help the university develop and implement equity-driven student success strategies, Camacho said.     

Jacquelyn R. Jones, assistant vice president of student success, with AASCU’s Academic Innovation & Transformation, wrote: “Our hope is that over the next two to three years, you and other campuses in this project will achieve equitable student success, reflect on what factors contributed to your success, and disseminate promising practices to the rest of higher education.”  

“Congratulations again on this significant honor. We know this will be an extraordinary opportunity to engage many people on your campus, connecting them to the very best work in student success in the country. This project will transform the lives of thousands of college students across the United States, and we look forward to collaborating with you,” Jones added in the letter to UOG.  

Other institutions selected for the initiative include California State University, Stanislaus; Fort Lewis College; Georgia College & State University; Lehman College; The City University of New York; Middle Tennessee State University; Nevada State College; Portland State University; Sam Houston State University; Tarleton State University, Texas; Texas A&M University; Texas A&M University, Texarkana; University of North Georgia; University of Washington, Bothell; West Texas A&M University; and Western Kentucky University.  (UOG)

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