October 17, 2023

Purdue Global selected by Gardner Institute to join inaugural cohort of Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience

The first cohort of 11 institutions takes on the challenge of redesigning the first two years of college so every student can graduate; additional cohorts to follow

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Global has been selected to participate in a new national initiative, Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience, which aims to transform the critical first two years of college education when students create the foundation for ultimate success and degree completion. The effort will help institutions focus on inequitable performance gaps and take action to improve student learning and success.

Led by the Gardner Institute, a leading national student success nonprofit organization, this initiative has been made possible in part through the support of Ascendium Education Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECMC Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

Additional Information

Through the effort, Purdue Global will collaborate closely with the Gardner Institute and 10 other institutions in the inaugural cohort over a five-year period to develop innovative strategies, enhance teaching and learning practices, and promote student success and retention. The Foundational Postsecondary Experience will help institutions move toward eliminating demographics, zip codes and other variables as the best predictors of who does or does not succeed.

“Purdue Global is proud to partner with the Gardner Institute on this initiative,” said Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley. “There are over 40 million Americans who have some college credit, but no degree. As the only fully online program selected for the cohort, we have been assisting working adult learners, meeting them where they are at and helping them with their own personal comebacks. We look forward to sharing our strengths with our peers, as well as learning from them on how they help prepare students for success.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Purdue Global to the inaugural cohort of Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience,” said Gardner Institute CEO Drew Koch. “The five-year commitment demonstrates the institution’s dedication to transforming the postsecondary experience for all their students.

“This is a bold action,” Koch added. “The university clearly recognizes that doing hard things requires long-term commitment, and improving student success in ways that maintain access, eliminate performance gaps and uphold quality is very hard. But Purdue Global is committed to doing this hard work. That is why it was selected to take part.”

The 11 participating institutions in the inaugural cohort enroll nearly 115,000 undergraduate students. Over two-fifths (43%) of those students receive a Pell Grant; over two-fifths (41%) identify as African American, Hispanic, Indigenous or two or more races. The participating institutions include:

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults. With more than 35,000 students enrolled and an estimated 11,000 degrees and certificates awarded each year, the current student snapshot at Purdue Global includes these data points:

  • 59% of students are 30 years of age or older.
  • 40% of students are from underserved populations.
  • 52% of students have a child or other dependents.
  • 50% are first-generation college students.
  • Approximately 10,000 are military-affiliated students, a population that includes uniformed personnel, veterans and eligible dependents.

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and backed by Purdue University. For more information, visit https://stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global/.

About the Gardner Institute

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a nonprofit that partners with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations and others to help them create and implement strategic plans for student success focused on improving teaching, learning, retention and completion. Through doing so, the institute strives to advance higher education’s larger equity, social mobility and social justice goals.

Media contacts: Purdue Global — Amy Hawkinson, ahawkinson@purdueglobal.edu; Gardner Institute — Katie Locke, locke@gardnerinstitute.org

Sources: Katie Locke, Drew Koch and Frank Dooley

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