Arkansas State University - Newport

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March 2023

ASUN joins Equity and Upward Mobility Initiative

Arkansas State University-Newport has been selected as one of only seventeen community colleges in the nation to participate in the Advancing Community Equity and Upward Mobility (ACE-UP) initiative. ACE-UP is a first-of-its-kind community of practice convened by the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW), with support from the Lumina Foundation.

The initiative brings together community colleges and industry leaders to design strategies that align education and training, increase access to employment and advance equitable employment outcomes. The Urban Institute will document the project, and experts from CSW will lead the community of practice.

“With the diversity, equity and inclusion plan of action, the design and implementation of equitable support services and programs are among our priorities," according to ASU-Newport's Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Dr. Amber Grady. “The goals include: 1) cultivate a campus culture of inclusivity and belonging, 2) create opportunities for internal and external outreach and engagement and 3) support the recruitment and retention of more diverse students, faculty, and staff.  We see our participation in this community of practice as an opportunity to ensure these goals are met.  Collaboration with institutional and community partners is essential in expanding resources to address the challenges of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and beyond.”

ACE-UP seeks to address racial disparities in key occupations and sectors by focusing on five themes: advancing institutionalized equity, aligning policy and practices, cultivating employer partnerships, enhancing student services and making data-driven decisions. Participants will engage in ten virtual sessions, closing in the summer of 2024, and will learn from invited guest researchers and practitioners from the field.

“We are excited to work with these community colleges and their industry partners to help them turn their goals to address equity gaps and meet the skill development needs of marginalized and underrepresented workers a reality,” said Melissa Goldberg, CSW’s director of competencies and credentials, and project lead. “We believe the sharing of resources and peer-to-peer networking will help to scale the good work already underway.”

ASU-Newport is committed to the goals of ACE-UP and is eager to share resources and learn from peers.

Learn more about ACE-UP and the goals of the community of practice at