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Innovations in Student Success: From Campus Collaboration to Tech Implementation

Innovations in Student Success: From Campus Collaboration to Tech Implementation

As employers increasingly demand skilled and educated workers, student success in college is more crucial than ever—especially as the challenges facing students and institutions grow more complex. Those challenges, however, are fueling innovative approaches to student success and highlighting the importance of collaboration, smart technology implementation and the evolving role of academic advisors.

In Arizona, a non-profit is dedicated to fostering collaboration between educational institutions, policymakers, philanthropists and community organizations in order to make college affordable, boost student engagement and support academic planning. In Texas, innovative partnerships are helping economically disadvantaged high school students head to college and prepare for careers. And one national consortium of universities is working hard to build communities of practice and tackle design challenges.

Building alliances within a campus can also impact student outcomes; learn how student-focused services can best work together. Academic advisors’ understanding of student needs make them ideal partners to identify patterns of student behavior, evaluate campus technology, and facilitate cross-campus connections. Indeed, one administrator predicts that advisors will increasingly specialize, becoming experts in “the use of tools and in understanding the data.” In that vein, we offer up a nifty graphic to illustrate the evolution of student advising.

Selecting and rolling out technology is key to many student success initiatives. For that reason, school administrators need to listen to students’ voices when selecting the technology that supports student learning journeys. Technology-mediated advising, specifically, can help address achievement gaps.

As with many innovations, the path to success can encompass detours. Take data-informed nudges. They can result in big increases in student success, but there are pitfalls if they are used unethically or implemented incorrectly. We spotlight other learnings gleaned from misfires, including one university’s early adoption of a ‘Netflix’ model of advising and another’s decade-plus experience with early alert systems.

We hope you’ll dig into these discussions of student success innovations and share your thoughts with us. And please join us at our webinar, How Analytics Can Support Student Success in Higher Ed on April 25.

—Mary Hossfeld, Guide Editor


Watch the EdSurge on-demand webinar, “How Analytics Can Support Student Success in Higher Ed,” sponsored by Salesforce.org.


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Trends in Student Advising

The evolution of student advising highlights the impact of new technologies and changing processes on student success. View the full infographic here.

Image Credit: Spencer Hoffman; sponsored by Salesforce.org. View the full infographic here.

What the Data Says

The types of student success data that institutions collect fall into five main categories, from pre-enrollment information to campus community engagement.

Type of Student Data Examples
Pre-enrollment • Demographics
• High school grade point average
• Parents’ experience with college
• Test scores
Academic • Class attendance
• First semester grades
• Grades in select core courses
• Login to student web portal
• Midterm grades
• Registration for next semester
• Use of learning management system
Motivation and Self-efficacy • Comfort with academic ability
• Depression
• Financial issues
• Homesickness
• Lack of friends or connections
Use of Support Services • Advising
• Career services
• Counseling
• Disability support
• Financial aid
• Health center
• Library
• Tutoring
Student Engagement • Athletic team affiliation
• Campus membership
• Campus residency
• Campus Wi-Fi usage
• Dining center
• Leadership roles
• Participation in campus programs
• Recreation center

Source: Predictive Analysis of Student Data, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, 2017

Why Learning Analytics?

The following chart illustrates higher education institutions' motivations for investing in learning analytics, based on a 2015 EDUCAUSE member survey. Among the top five reasons listed below, three relate to student success.

Source: Learning Analytics in Higher Education, EDUCAUSE, 2016; full size image here.

Learning Analytics—Looking Forward

Institutions are using analytics to assist in various areas related to student success, and many are planning or considering expanding implementation in the future.

Source: Learning Analytics in Higher Education, EDUCAUSE, 2016; full size image here.

Scope of Technology Implementation

Although the implementation of multiple student success technologies is not yet widespread, their use is growing.

Source: Learning Analytics in Higher Education, EDUCAUSE, 2016; full size image here.

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