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.
AAC&U is pleased to share statements and letters from several college and university presidents in response to events regarding issues of racial and social justice. We hope these resources will be helpful as you craft your own responses to these important issues.

Webinars On-Demand

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

Campus Models and Case Studies

A Coordinated Culture of Care: Houston Colleges and Universities Collaborate for Student Success

In an ideal world, every college student would take exactly the number of courses required for their degree. Beyond that, with a few exceptions, each extra course wastes time, costs money, and makes... Read More

“Equity Is Behind All of This”: How Community Colleges Are Strengthening Guided Pathways and Ensuring Students Are Learning

Health Sciences is the most popular academic pathway at Chattanooga State Community College, enrolling more than 40 percent of first-year students each fall. But over the years, many of these... Read More

Universal Design during COVID-19: Supporting Disabled and Nondisabled Students at the University of Arizona

As a college student, Eric Bell would visit his classrooms before the first day of a new semester. He would make sure his wheelchair could enter the building and get to his class, and that he had a... Read More

Courageous Conversations: Racial Healing and Speaking across Difference

New Publication on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) We Hold These Truths: Dismantling Racial Hierarchies, Building Equitable Communities describes the work of TRHT Campus Centers to... Read More

Repairing the Damage Caused by Racism: Thirteen New Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers

Posters celebrating white supremacy. Politicians costumed in blackface. Institutional legacies of segregation, slavery, and appropriation of Native lands. Amid a national climate in which violent... Read More