Arizona Innovation Alliance

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. Together, the AIA accelerates cross-institutional learning and deployment of high impact practices, enables the scale of innovative solutions, and creates spaces to test and verify new methods for student success.

The Challenge

As of 2020, 65% 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 2- or 4-year degree, as compared to 66% of high school graduates nationally. Of these students, just over 60% 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.

We aim to:

  • Improve first year retention, 4- and 6-year graduation rates
  • Increase the number of Pell-eligible students enrolled and graduating across institutions
  • Enroll entering resident undergraduate cohorts that reflect the income and ethnic diversity of the overall population of Arizona high school graduates

We aim to:

  • Develop a mix of program design and delivery methods that best meet the needs of each institution's goals
  • Design and deploy technology-based solutions and innovative structures in all aspects of education, student support, and administrative services
  • Create innovative partnerships among our universities, with other universities, and with the private sector where greater effectiveness or cost advantages can be gained

We aim to:

  • Develop innovations in program design and service delivery which reduce costs for Arizona students while achieving student success goals
  • Collaborate on innovative approaches to financial aid that support access, educational goals, and optimal use of resources

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.