Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Through its Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, AAC&U works to accelerate broad-scale innovation and institutional change to advance evidence-based educational strategies, including, but not limited to, the intentional design and implementation of high-impact practices and guided learning pathways that engage diversity and challenge inequities in student outcomes to make excellence inclusive. AAC&U seeks to fully prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to advance equity, inclusion, and social justice through higher levels of personal and social responsibility.



The Purposeful Pathways project supports faculty-led efforts at participating institutions to enhance curricular coherence and intentionality by creating new guided learning pathways. As they move through these newly designed curricular pathways, students will engage in high-quality learning experiences and develop the intellectual skills and practical knowledge they need for life, work, and citizenship.

The Guided Pathways project supports the efforts of institutional participants to strengthen project-based and applied learning experiences and to assess student achievement of learning outcomes. The project framework is composed of four main practice areas: mapping pathways to student end goals, helping students choose and enter a program pathway, keeping students on path, and ensuring that students are learning.

In partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise, AAC&U works with higher education institutions across the country to develop self-sustaining, community-integrated TRHT Campus Centers. Organized around the five pillars of the TRHT framework—narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy—the centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value.  

Featured Publications


The Center for Urban Education, in collaboration with the Lumina Foundation, has created a series of tools designed to enable leaders to carry out practices and strategies that will increase equity in higher education policy.

Webinars On-Demand

Video recordings of the following webinars are available for AAC&U members to watch on-demand:

Campus Models and Case Studies

Changing the Culture of STEM: The Quantitative Skills Center at Pomona College

In 2009–10, a group of Pomona College faculty members discovered they had a STEM problem. Looking at the college’s data, they saw that some students—especially black and Hispanic students—were not... Read More

Humanities, Leadership, and Community at Cuyahoga Community College

Adolphe Musanga hated Cleveland when he first arrived. Cleveland was cold. Musanga had immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (sunny and warm) to San Diego (sunny and warm) in 2015, but... Read More

Building Relationships and Changing Narratives at Rutgers University–Newark and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Since 2017, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has guided the development of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers on college and university... Read More

Introducing the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers

On January 19–23, 2018, more than one hundred faculty, staff, and students from the first ten Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers and nineteen visiting institutions... Read More

A Tale of Three Grants: Redesigning First-Year Experiences to Bolster Student Success

After struggling for years with low completion rates, administrators at Chattanooga State Community College (ChSCC) decided to try something new. In 2010, when the Commission on Colleges of the... Read More