Michigan State University is among a handful of public universities across the country that will be offering assistance to raise graduation rates for students.

The Detroit News is reporting today that the East Lansing school is among 11 to be part of the University Innovation Alliance.  The idea is to share information and test programs that lead to retention of students.

Numbers released today indicate that the graduation rate within a 6-year period is less than 60%.

The chair of the alliance says the key to success is finding solutions that work then disseminating that information so that it can help others.

"While there are many institutions that have come up with creative solutions to some of our sector's most urgent problems, those ideas rarely travel far from where they are hatched," said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University.

Michigan State officials say they are glad they were asked to participate and believe they will have much to offer.

"We have the will, the tools and the critical mass to finally begin to breach a persistent barrier to delivering the promise of opportunity to all our students, no matter what their family or geographic circumstances," said MSU president Lou Anna Simon .

The unprecedented program will focus on low-come and first-generation college students.

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