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Who we are

The Arizona Innovation Alliance (AIA), supported by the Arizona Board of Regents, is a partnership between Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona with the mission of enhancing the performance of higher education in the state.

Modeled on the success of the University Innovation Alliance, the AIA emerged from a shared belief that through enhanced collaboration, we can find new and better ways to improve educational access and attainment among Arizona residents.

In service to its mission, AIA serves as a tri-university hub for collective advancement leveraging the following approaches:

  • Develop space to enable shared learning across institutions, deepening collective understanding of promising practices in our state and nationwide.
  • Test and verify new methods for student success, access and affordability through the development of institutional and collaborative pilot programs.
  • Scale what’s working by leveraging collective resources, identifying external funding sources and bridging partnerships.
  • Disseminate learning to enhance collective engagement opportunities and replication of promising practices across the Arizona education ecosystem.

The Challenge

As of 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. The value of a university degree has never been higher and in order to ensure our communities continue to thrive economically and socially, we must make postsecondary education accessible and affordable to all Arizonans.

Despite our collective urgency for meaningful change, Arizona is challenged by lower than average educational attainment rates. Less than half of today's Arizona high school graduates pursue a two or four-year degree, as compared to 66 percent of high school graduates nationally. Of these students, just over 60 percent are completing their degrees. These educational outcomes are even lower for historically underrepresented populations, whose success determines the future of and strengthens our ethnically and economically diverse state.

As an alliance, we act as a bridge for innovation through collaboration, supporting our universities and their commitment to evolve in response to the needs of today's students. This new era presents an array of opportunities regarding how we meet these needs, and together we are rising to the challenge.

Our Goals

Building on the great work and unique assets of our institutions, AIA seeks to deliver improvements in the areas of student access, academic performance and completion. With a focus on student-centricity and through innovations in program design, service delivery methods and the use of technology, the AIA will drive impactful results for students, institutions and the greater Arizona community.

Improve overall student success and graduation rates of Arizona residents, with particular attention on traditionally underserved populations.

Deploy educational practices and programs which combine high standards of student outcomes with cost effective teaching and student supports.

Optimize resource allocations between student tuition and state appropriations for affordable and accessible education among Arizona residents.

Connect With Us

Would you like to connect with us? We welcome and value partnership in many forms to support our mission towards a brighter future for Arizona education. Please get in touch with us using the form here.