Partnering for Postsecondary Education Success

Author: Helios Education Foundation

July 12, 2015

Recognizing the value and strength of partnership, Helios Education Foundation is proud to fund the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, which is an innovative partnership consisting of Florida’s three largest urban research universities - Florida International University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.  Through this consortium, the universities will share best practices, policies and programs to maximize career-readiness, particularly among under-represented and limited-income students, and they will better track students’ degree progress, provide more targeted support through mentors and advisers and identify local partnerships that could lead to internship or practicum opportunities for students. 

“The three universities participating in this Consortium collectively serve more than 60 percent of the state’s population, including 70 percent of the minority population and 25 percent of the state’s first generation students,”   said Braulio Colón, Vice President and Program Director, Postsecondary Completion, Helios Education Foundation.  “They are on the forefront of preparing Florida’s future workforce.  Helios is proud to support this unique and innovative partnership as we collectively work to increase college access and completion rates for students across the state.”

The Consortium has set some ambitious goals which will accelerate the pace and extent of change at each institution.  Specifically, the Consortium aims to:

  • increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded at the three schools by 3,660, or 12 percent;
  • increase the six-year graduation rate for first-time-in-college minority students by four  percentage points, to 67 percent;
  • increase the number of graduates employed or continuing their education in Florida by three percentage points to 79 percent;
  • and increase the salaries the three schools’ graduates earn in the workplace by 10 percent to an average of $39,072.

Ultimately, these outcomes will increase the number of graduates in high-demand areas, increase the number of underrepresented and limited-income students graduating with the skills and credentials required by Florida employers, and emphasize career readiness.

A President’s Council, comprised of the three university presidents, is providing general strategic direction for the Consortium’s initiatives and they have recently hired a new executive director to coordinate their efforts. 



Category: Postsecondary Success

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