Alabama is home to more than 45 public and independent colleges and universities, including Auburn University, Troy University, and the University of Alabama. The state’s public and private institutions serve more than 250,000 students at campuses in Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Troy, Tuscaloosa, and more. Many of the state’s larger public universities are regarded for their academic excellence as well as their NCAA athletics programs, particularly football. Alabama is currently working to implement a program known as PK-20, which is designed to improve access to college and employment, create recognizable benchmarks for success, and reduce drop-out rates. The initiative is meant to be a seamless educational system that supports students from elementary school to their senior year of college.