The New American Colleges and Universities is committed to being an innovation center for our campuses with bold futures. Working with presidents and their leadership teams, the Strategic Partnerships Advance (SPA) is a multi-phased approach to forming campus-to-campus partnerships that resolve pressing challenges. The phases include: (a) prioritize common challenges and opportunities across NACU campuses; (b) conduct and examine research on existing partnerships; (c) identify and prioritize a set of strategic partnerships; and, lastly, (d) develop, execute, and evaluate the course of actions for prioritized partnerships.

NACU is grateful to the Transformational Partnerships Fund for its support of our Strategic Partnerships Advance (SPA). Learn about TPF.


Research Phase I (May 2023)

The research phase will look at several guiding questions, including:

  • What are the existing and future problems our campuses are trying to solve?
  • What strategic partnerships to address these issues are already underway with other campuses or community partners?
  • What innovative partnerships have yet to be developed but could have a significant positive impact?

Education Virtual Session (June 2023)

The education session will review and discuss the key findings from Research Phase I. Additionally, the session will include a presentation from an external person or group to share perspective on effective strategic partnerships in higher education.

Research Phase II (July and August 2023)

The second research phase will focus on deeper exploration of the viability of strategic partnership ideas that emerged in Research Phase I and the Education Virtual Session.

Strategic Partnerships Advance (September 11, 2023)

In this two-hour meeting, campus leaders will work review and assess strategic partnerships in higher education and work collaboratively to prioritize actionable items for campus-to-campus partnerships and/or centralized through NACU.

Planning Phase (October 2023 to January 2024)

The planning phase will include ongoing research and discussions to submit a proposal to a funder(s) for planning purposes on the actionable strategic partnerships. Progress will be shared with NACU campuses and discussed selectively with outside groups engaged in collaborative partnership.