Department of Education awards $8.9 million to UIA schools

The University Innovation Alliance receives “First in the World” grant to conduct four-year study to evaluate impact of analytics, coaching

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The U.S. Department of Education announced that UC Riverside, as a member of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), will participate in an $8.9 million research project to evaluate the effectiveness of college advising to increase retention, progress and graduation for low-income and first-generation students. Georgia State University is the recipient of the grant and will subcontract with the 10 other members of the UIA to pursue the research, involving 10,000 college students over four years.

“Today, more institutions are turning to data and analytics to help personalize advising, and identify struggling students before they get too far off track,” said Bridget Burns, UIA Executive Director. “Our mission is to test new ideas, understand what works, and scale effective innovations across the country to ensure that more students have the support they need to complete college. The First in the World grant will enable us to study the work already taking place at our 11 institutions, and test best practices using data analytics that we can share with and beyond the Alliance.”

As part of the study, students at each of the 11 universities will be selected by random assignment and will establish individualized academic plans; receive real-time alerts when they misstep; and receive interventions to get them back on the appropriate academic path. Examples of missteps might include a failing grade or registering for a course that doesn’t advance the student toward his or her stated degree goal.

“We are very grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for this award to the University Innovation Alliance, said UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox.  “UC Riverside is pleased to be part of this targeted research project about the key role of advising in collegiate student success.  Great outcomes in student retention and graduation can be fostered when we create a student support ecosystem that gives students solid advice in managing their collegiate years.”

“This grant illustrates why the Alliance is so important. Over the next four years, our eleven institutions will produce groundbreaking evidence illustrating the impact of predictive analytics on student success that will have national significance,” said Dr. Tim Renick, Vice President for Enrollment and project lead at Georgia State University.

Launched just one year ago, the UIA is a consortium of public research universities established to help more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds graduate from college. This year, all institutions are implementing or scaling the use of data analytics and advising to improve student retention and college completion.

In addition to UC Riverside, the University Innovation Alliance includes: Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Purdue University, University of Central Florida,  University of Kansas and University of Texas at Austin.


About the University Innovation Alliance: The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) is a national consortium of 11 large public research universities spanning the geographic, economic and social diversity of our country. Together, we are working to regain America’s economic competitive edge by helping more students graduate with a high-quality and affordable education. We do this by broadening participation in higher education and implementing proven programs that significantly improve graduation rates for all students regardless of socioeconomic background.

Our members’ commitment:

  • Increase the number of graduates
  • Increase the diversity of graduates (particularly economic)
  • Innovate and collaborate together
  • Lower our cost by enhancing our effectiveness at scale

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