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tag: Student success

Blog Post
November 11, 2020

Introducing our Student Advisors

Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems

In 2019, Ithaka S+R began a three-year project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to help community colleges and their academic libraries more effectively support their students. This project, known as Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE), is part of a growing program of Ithaka S+R research focused on understanding, measuring, and increasing student success at community colleges. Our first phase of…
Blog Post
September 30, 2020

Holistically Measuring Student Success

Higher education institutions often use quantitative, outcome-based metrics to define student success. These measurements, which are reported to and used by government, regulatory, and accrediting agencies, are influential for decision-making, benchmarking, ranking, and most importantly, funding. However, these traditional outcome metrics provide a limited view of the goals, challenges, and experiences of college students, especially those who attend community colleges. Employing additional, holistic metrics—such as those that focus on basic needs, feelings…
Research Report
September 30, 2020

Measuring the Whole Student

Landscape Review of Traditional and Holistic Approaches to Community College Student Success

As colleges and universities work to enhance student success, they frequently use traditional outcome-based metrics—such as graduation rates, year-to-year retention, and post-graduation employment—to define that “success.” These measurements, which throughout this report we refer to as traditional metrics, are often prioritized across higher education given their impact on and consequences toward institutional decision-making, benchmarking, and most importantly, funding. While these quantitative metrics can provide a useful—albeit limited—view into student experiences inside and outside of the classroom, they often focus on…
Blog Post
September 3, 2020

What Your Students Want to Hear

Effective Communications in the Time of COVID-19

Kimmy Cacciato is currently serving as a student advisor to the Ithaka S+R Holistic Metrics of Student Success project. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a major in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education – Mathematics Teaching. This fall, she is returning to TCNJ to pursue an MAT in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education.  During this time of uncertainty, effectively communicating with students is more important than ever. Campus administrators and…
Blog Post
August 10, 2020

Is Online Instruction as Good as Face-to-Face?

Unpacking Assumptions in the Wrong Question Everyone is Asking

As the wave of optimism about returning to on-campus instruction recedes in the face of rising cases of Covid-19 around the country, more and more students, parents, policy-makers, and scholars are asking if online instruction is “as good as face-to-face instruction.” This question is not new, and has been raised for almost every new educational innovation, from television to computers to virtual reality. It does take on a new sense of…
Blog Post
June 29, 2020

Three Questions for Melissa Sturm-Smith

Drake University and COVID-19

Melissa Sturm-Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success, worked with Ithaka S+R to field the COVID-19 student survey at Drake University in the spring semester. We recently asked her about the challenges Drake students faced in light of the pandemic and the steps the university has taken to meet their needs. 1) Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced as a leader at Drake University during the spring semester? Our…
Blog Post
April 22, 2020

Student Experiences During COVID-19

Actionable Insights Driving Institutional Support for Students

Update April 29, 2020: we are also offering a COVID-19 faculty survey for implementation in May and June. Last week, we began launching our COVID-19 student surveys as part of an initiative to address the pressing needs of the community as colleges and universities have pivoted to online instruction. The survey covers several key topics, including the effectiveness of course formats, the resources students are using, institutional communications, general wellness,…
Blog Post
December 5, 2019

Making the CCASSE for Support Services

When we interviewed dozens of community college students about their challenges and unmet needs, many reported struggling with navigating college resources. When we subsequently heard from over 10,000 students via survey about the services they need to achieve their vision of success, the overwhelming majority responded positively to a service centered around helping students navigate these resources.  Last year, we embarked on the…
Research Report
December 5, 2019

Organizing Support for Success

Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE) project examines how academic and student support services at not-for-profit associate-degree granting colleges are organized, funded, and staffed, and how these services can most effectively advance student success. In spring 2019, we surveyed 249 chief academic and student affairs officers at community colleges across the United States on success measures, services offered, resource challenges and constraints, and vision for future service provision.
Blog Post
November 21, 2019

Increasing Awareness of Basic Needs

Holistic Measures of Student Success for Community College Leaders

Higher education institutions typically use quantitative metrics like year-to-year retention rates, graduation rates, and post-secondary outcomes to measure student success. Most, if not all, institutions are required to report these data to government, regulatory, and accreditation agencies, and use them for benchmarking and measuring progress towards goals. To date, however, the student perspective of what success means — and what barriers stand in the way of achieving it — has often been omitted from these practices. Our research with seven…
Past Event
May 21, 2019

Improving Access, Affordability and Success in American Colleges and Universities

Catharine Hill at the Third Biennial Brasenose Undergraduate Access Symposium

On Tuesday, May 21, at 5:30 pm, Catharine Hill is speaking on “Improving Access, Affordability and Success in American Colleges and Universities” at the Third Biennial Brasenose Undergraduate Access Symposium: Access to Higher Education at Oxford and Other Places. More information about this free symposium is available on the Brasenose College website.
Blog Post
February 25, 2019

On Being Student-Centered

Reflections on the CCLASSS Project and DREAM 2019

What does it mean for us to be student-centered in our work at Ithaka S+R? In our collaborative research initiative on student success and community college libraries, the Community College Libraries & Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) project, being student-centered means that we have positioned student voices as not only valuable but essential to our work. While our ultimate aim for the CCLASSS project is to design new library…
Blog Post
September 4, 2018

“The Degree Is Cool, But I’m More About the Knowledge”

How Community College Students Define Student Success

“Student success” has moved to the forefront of the higher education agenda. Success at community colleges — and four-year colleges — has often been defined by the achievement of institutional outcomes, predominantly comprised of various measures of student persistence, achievement, and attainment, including rates of transfer, enrollment in postsecondary education, GPA, retention, time to graduation, graduation, and post-graduation job attainment and compensation. However, these traditional measures of student success have often been derived from higher education institutions, state…
Blog Post
September 7, 2017

Community College Library Support for Student Success

Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College Launch New Research Project

Ithaka S+R regularly and extensively studies the perspectives, practices, and needs of faculty and students at four year colleges and universities to inform future roles for the academic library. Today, we are excited to announce that we will be expanding this work over the next 18 months to partner with seven community colleges in assessing and improving library support of student success within a community college context. We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services…
Blog Post
August 8, 2017

University Libraries Are Putting the Student First

Perspective from US Library Leaders

Last week’s article in The Guardian from Alterline’s Ben Hickman, entitled “University libraries need to start putting the student first,” proposed that university libraries need to put evidence on student needs and practices at the heart of their decision-making. The author included a number of suggested areas for improvement – for example, the provision of ample space, friendly engagement with librarians and library staff, and accessible resources. As UK higher education transitions towards taking a more student-centric approach as…
Blog Post
June 26, 2017

Advocacy and Assessment: Communicating and Maximizing Library Value

Earlier this year, Ithaka S+R published results from the US Library Survey 2016, which examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors. One of the key findings from the study was that library directors are pursuing strategic directions with a decreasing sense of support from their institutions, and a recent study on the perceptions of library value from the perspective of provosts…
Blog Post
October 20, 2016

Four Strategic Essentials for Institution-Wide Improvement in Student Success

Over the past decade, colleges and universities have faced increasing pressure to improve degree completion rates and demonstrate their value to students. At the same time, evidence has accumulated about efficacy of a number of structural and pedagogical changes institutions can make to help students succeed. Tactics including remedial course redesign, proactive advising and coaching, active learning pedagogies incorporating technology, and guided pathways now have a solid research base. Yet despite this great motivation and the availability of evidence-supported practices,…
Case Study
October 20, 2016

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 remedial course redesign, proactive advising and coaching, active learning pedagogies incorporating technology, and streamlined pathways through institutions.[2] Yet…
Blog Post
September 29, 2016

How Should We Interpret the Survey?

Taking a Closer Look at Higher Ed Insights

The Spring 2016 Ithaka S+R Higher Ed Insights survey on obstacles to innovation that would promote student success identifies four top roadblocks:  Insufficient funding for public institutions; faculty incentives not aligned to teaching and learning; administrative silos; and faculty resistance to change. The top solutions, in turn, are rewarding faculty for innovating in teaching and learning, acquiring better evidence on how to bring initiatives to scale, nurturing better collaboration among PreK-12 systems, community colleges, and universities, and establishing a…
Blog Post
September 29, 2016

The Three Greatest Obstacles to Improving Student Success?

Higher Ed Insiders Cite State Funding, Faculty Incentives, and Administrative Silos

A diverse group of 85 higher education leaders and experts identified insufficient state funding of public institutions of higher education as the most significant obstacle to improving American students’ postsecondary outcomes. But aside from the shortfall in that critical public investment, respondents to the Spring 2016 Ithaka S+R Higher Ed Insights Survey flagged institutional policies, practices, and culture as the greatest impediments to improving student success. The most promising solutions to those obstacles, according to respondents, are greater incentives for…