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A group of 11 large research universities that collaborate on increasing low-income student degree production, dubbed the University Innovation Alliance, announced this week that it is adding undergraduate career readiness for at-risk students to the college completion push.

With initial funding of $2.4 million from the Strada Education Network, the alliance will map processes on each campus and identify where students are encountering roadblocks as they move from college to careers. Career services professionals will lead the project.

"Career services are a natural evolution of focus for the student success movement," Bridget Burns, executive director of the alliance, said in a written statement. "If we abandon low-income or first-generation students at graduation with a poorly designed handoff between college to career, we risk failing to deliver on the full promise of higher education."

Since its creation in 2014, the University Innovation Alliance's 11 university members have increased their number of low-income graduates by 27,000, or 29 percent.