I have an existing student success initiative. What next?
Getting the initiative off the ground is only the first step. The next steps you take are really the most important part of the initiative because they will help you to ensure its efficacy going forward. There are four crucial next steps to take:
STEP 1: With your plan in motion, you’ll have some new data to look at—the impact that your writing lab has had on graduate student grades, for example. Use that data to create a student service scorecard of sorts that you can use to present key student success metrics to critical institutional stakeholders—such as a school’s senior leadership— in a very clear and concise manner. When you’re open and transparent, there’s a better chance you’ll get the support that you need from stakeholders to further refine your initiative or investigate other student support strategies
STEP 2: Revisit existing academic policies and practices. Once you can map out and visualize where you’ve been successful and where you’re still challenged, see if there’s an area where you still need to provide more support. You might decide you need to do a better job of preparing students as they transition from college to graduate studies.
STEP 3: Develop milestones. Now that you’re addressing challenges and looking at policies, those milestones will help you to track that process so you can stay on top of your student success initiative.
STEP 4: Adopt a continuous improvement model. Have regular check-ins with critical stakeholders around your student success initiative to make sure that you’re meeting your milestones, and that you can find the right resources if you’re challenged.
Higher education institutions regularly struggle with putting on a human face. They’re large, bureaucratic, and can be hard to navigate. Student success initiatives can provide students with deeper connections to the institution and specific people within it. Any way an institution can build positive, useful bridges, staff to student, it will be a tremendous benefit to institution and student alike.
Check out how Saint Leo University used Brightspace to create an entire learning ecosystem to generate meaningful educational experiences for its students: