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Graceland University selected for ACE Change and Innovation Lab

LAMONI — Graceland University has been selected by the American Council on Education (ACE) to participate in the Change and Innovation Lab (CIL), a groundbreaking initiative to help colleges and universities implement significant and sustainable efforts to increase the number of first-generation and nontraditional students who gain a college degree.

Graceland is one of nine institutions that will work during the 18-month CIL project to implement concrete steps on their campuses, and identify how some of these practices can be applied broadly at colleges and universities across the country. The project is being supported by a $400,000 grant from Lumina Foundation.

“The support ACE is providing our institution through this program will help us become more student-centered and strategic as we focus on the future,” said Graceland University President John Sellars.

“The institutions that are participating in the Change and Innovation Lab are engaged in meaningful exploration of initiatives, aimed at mobilizing higher education to increase student success and attainment nationwide,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “We are grateful to Lumina Foundation for its support of this project, as well as for its continuing focus on improving postsecondary attainment.”

ACE convened the initial meeting of the CIL earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The meeting was attended by campus teams that included each institution’s president or chancellor and chief academic officers, including Graceland University President John Sellars; Vice President for Academic Affairs Tammy Everett; future Vice President for Student Life David Schaal and Director of Institutional Research Debbie Kepple-Mamros.

The criteria for selecting CIL institutions was designed to encourage high-access institutions to participate, including colleges and universities that enroll large numbers of Pell Grant recipients, have a history of serving or the capacity to serve post-traditional learners, and are interested in using technology and data to improve attainment rates.

Also participating in the Change and Innovation Lab are Brandman University (CA), Cambridge College (MA), Edinboro University (PA), Georgia Gwinnett College, Hiram College (OH), Lehman College (NY), Mercy College (NY) and Winthrop University (SC).

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