What Is the Frontier Set?

Frontier Set Logo


The Frontier Set (FS) is a small, diverse group of innovative thought leaders representing 29 postsecondary institutions and two state systems identified by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and intermediary partner organizations. Together, these stakeholders work toward building and maximizing student success outputs based on implementing identified solutions that advance student success across the field of postsecondary education.

Grantees include Claflin University, Delaware State University, Fayetteville State University, Jackson State University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Morehouse College. These high-performing, high-potential institutions work closely together in mutually trusting relationships to learn from each other the best practices of institutional transformation for student success. Further, they work toward pioneering possibilities through onsite convenings, site visits, and conference calls to understand barriers to student success, implement best practices to improve student retention, and produce massive gains in student completion rates. The FS embodies the idea of a “frontier” beyond recognized boundaries and an example for others to follow.

HBCU Intermediary: Dr. Kathy Thompson, College of Education, supports the BMFG’s grantee portfolio of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), facilitating their work surrounding institutional transformation and their participation in the Frontier Set (FS).

As prime point of contact, Dr. Thompson works with these sites to navigate the FS initiative and support their understanding of grant requirements and participation. She ensures consistent communication and serves as a valuable conduit in spreading lessons learned from the FS initiative, and plays a critical role in sharing knowledge across the FS and to the larger network.