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Universities form Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities to Accelerate Innovation Toward Student Success

Author: Helios Education Foundation

January 10, 2020

Connecting student potential to limitless possibilities through the completion of a postsecondary degree is more than an aspirational goal for Helios Education Foundation. Ensuring all students, particularly first-generation, minority, and underrepresented students not only are inspired, but also will aspire to unleash their potential motivates Helios to seek partners that challenge convention in favor of innovation – partners such as the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities (Florida Consortium). “The assertion that education changes lives and strengthens communities is fundamental to our work, to our partnerships, and to the impact we strive to achieve,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. 

In the newly published education brief, Universities Form Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities to Accelerate Innovation toward Student Success, Helios explores how three public metropolitan research 1 universities in Florida abandoned norms to form an unprecedented alliance to accelerate innovation aimed at increasing student success and, ultimately, ensure a greater number of Floridians complete a postsecondary degree. Committed to serving a similar student population, Consortium founders Dr. Judy Genshaft, Dr. John Hitt, and Dr. Mark Rosenberg led their respective institutions, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida and Florida International University, to embrace this unique collaboration. “The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities is a testament to the impact we can have when we work together. Student success and workforce readiness are important to our University System, and, together, we continue to improve our strategies and our communities” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, President, Florida International University. 

From the outset, the Florida Consortium took a shared-measurement approach to examine its impact, which is based on four key measures that include the number of degrees awarded, the six-year graduation rate for minority students, the percent of graduates employed full-time or continuing education, and the median salary of employed graduates. 

To fully appreciate the uniqueness of this alliance, the brief first explores the origins and evolution of Consortium institutions, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, and Florida International University, while also exploring postsecondary degree attainment trends both nationally and in Florida. Lastly, a comprehensive overview of the Florida Consortium’s early formation, successes, and challenges exemplifies partners’ commitment to serving their diverse student populations. 

Learn more about the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities and other work supported by Helios Education Foundation on our publications page

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