Institutional Transformation for Student Success
Lessons Learned from Ithaka S+R’s Case Studies

Over the past decade, U.S. colleges and universities have faced increasing pressure from funders, policymakers, and advocates to improve degree completion rates and demonstrate their value to students.[1] At the same time, researchers have produced substantial evidence about the efficacy of a number of structural and pedagogical changes institutions can make to help students succeed. These changes include …

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Engineering Learning at Kaplan University

Facilitated by growth in the availability of data about learners, scholars in cognitive science, psychology, computer science, and other disciplines have developed sophisticated insights about how people learn and succeed in academic contexts.[1] Yet, growth in the field of “learning science” has far outpaced higher education institutions’ efforts to apply its insights to their students’ experience. Leaders at …

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Serving the Adult Student at University of Maryland University College

Conventional conceptualizations of the “typical” college student as an eighteen-year old, full-time, residential student poorly match reality. Roughly 70 percent of today’s college students are “nontraditional students,” meaning that they are over the age of 24, commute to campus, work part or full-time, are financially independent, or have children. Some enter college with only a GED, while others are reentry …

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Broad-Based and Targeted
Florida State University’s Efforts to Retain Every Student

Over the past twenty years, Florida State University (FSU) has recorded one of the largest increases in six-year graduation rates in the nation—increasing from 63.2 percent for the 1988 entering cohort to 79.1 percent for the 2008 entering cohort. This improvement in outcomes has occurred with only a modest increase in students’ entering credentials—for example, the average SAT score of …

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Student Success by Design
CUNY’s Guttman Community College

A growing number of American community colleges are redesigning their curricula, advising services, faculty development programs, and relationships with four year institutions in order to help more students succeed. In most cases, reforms take place within existing operating structures, as gradual processes of cultural and institutional change. A response to dismal persistence and completion rates at community colleges, Guttman was …

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Leveraging Technology for the Liberal Arts
The Council of Independent Colleges Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), created in 1956, is a membership organization of nearly 700 independent, non-profit colleges and universities. The organization exists to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. To achieve these goals, CIC hosts and develops programs, seminars, and conferences that help institutions improve …

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Collaborating for Student Success at Valencia College

In recent years, a promising conversation about change at community colleges has emerged. Employing the language of redesign and reinvention, this conversation emphasizes comprehensive, broad-sweeping reform, and calls for a reorientation of community college missions around student learning and student success. Though it is hard to disagree that improving student outcomes is desirable, the traditional enrollment and funding models for …

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Reshaping System Culture at the North Carolina Community College System

With 58 schools that enroll more than 800,000 students annually, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) is the third largest system of higher education in the nation.[1] In 2010, NCCCS embarked on SuccessNC, a strategic initiative focused on sharing best practices, developing performance-based student success metrics, and testing system-wide policies to improve student access and success across …

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Breaking the Iron Triangle at The University of Central Florida

Scanning the social needs and economic realities faced by institutions of higher education in 2008, John Immerwahr described an “iron triangle” constraining colleges and universities. Immerwahr suggested that the three points of this triangle—cost, quality, and access—exist in an “unbreakable reciprocal relationship, such that any change in one will inevitably impact the others.” According to this logic, making a college …

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Making a Place for Curricular Transformation at the University of Technology Sydney

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is committed to research and learning in technology-based disciplines, such as engineering and information technology, and fields that rely heavily on technology, such as design, architecture and building. Located in the center of Sydney, Australia, the university aims to achieve world-class status through embedding of advanced technologies across the curriculum, strong academic performance in …

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