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Articles: Student Success

An innovative articulation agreement between Anna Maria College and nearby Quinsigamond Community College (both in Massachusetts) will help fill critical public service jobs.

Under the terms of the agreement, students in public service majors who earn an associate degree at Quinsigamond are guaranteed admission to Anna Maria to complete their four-year degree.

A more centralized approach to course scheduling at Somerset Community College has increased the rates of filled classroom seats and helped students fit in the courses they need to graduate on time. Between 2008 and 2014, the average seat-fill rate has increased by 24 percent and the average student credit load has increased by 48 percent.

Students don’t quite run the show when it comes to course scheduling. But colleges and universities are striving to make it easier for them—with their ongoing juggle of work, family and school commitments.

Survey said: Students at Volunteer State Community College had their scheduling dreams come true when officials changed Monday/Wednesday/Friday courses to Monday/Wednesday, allowing for a four-day week. A survey had been executed to determine why Tuesday/Thursday sessions were filling much more quickly than sessions that met the other three days.

Course scheduling technology providers were asked: What are the biggest hurdles colleges face when trying to implement the scheduling options that students may want?

“Most institutions add new programs and course offerings at a much higher rate than they remove them. This leads to many programs and courses lacking the enrollment required to make them financially sustainable. Different modalities—hybrid, online, accelerated, etc.—can be attractive to certain students, but they add significant complexity to resource scheduling.”

The Red Folder, created by the University of California, is being adapted statewide as a resource for guidance on distressed student interaction.

Recent studies suggest that up to one-third of college students suffer mental health problems. California’s colleges and universities have made strides in providing mental health care to students—when higher ed as a whole has struggled to keep up with a growing demand for services.

Sue Henderson is president of New Jersey City University. James Muyskens is a professor in the Graduate Center at City University of New York.

Among the biggest challenges facing American higher education today is our failure to provide the majority of tomorrow’s workforce with the wherewithal to thrive in the future.

Elon University President Leo Lambert will deliver the opening keynote at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas in June.

Innovation is a word with many connotations. For some, it suggests technological advancement, while for others it is discovering new approaches to old problems. For Elon University President Leo Lambert, it is a continual push for improvement, both institutionally and professionally.

President Freeman Hrabowski, who marched in Martin Luther King's civil rights protests of the 1960s, drives the University of Maryland, Baltimore County students to diversify the STEM world.  In the mean time, he has transformed the institution familiarly known as UMBC from a commuter school into a renowned research university.

It would be difficult to work in higher education and not be aware of the numerous completion initiatives that are underway nationally, all focused on increasing the number of Americans with a college credential.

The voices that usually chime in to share scalable best practices include presidents, provosts, student affairs professionals and faculty. Rarely do my peers in advancement share how we are removing attainment barriers, but the creative thinking and work of fundraising offices are fueling new gains across campuses.

James Scannell is president and Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz, a higher education enrollment consulting division of Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Student retention, persistence, success and graduation remain top-of-mind issues for higher ed leaders amidst the advent of the College Scorecard, the push toward 60 percent of high school graduates earning college degrees by 2020, and families’ familiar concerns about return on investment.

Kinesiology students from Cal State, Fullerton traveled to Greece for a summer study trip focused on philosophy and the Olympics. Student Justin Carrido snapped this group selfie at the Acropolis.

White students accounted for three-quarters of the nearly 300,000 students who studied abroad last school year. But a group of minority-serving colleges and universities is striving to alter that statistic.

Students can color, practice golf shots on a putting green, build with Legos and play video games at the Niagara University library’s “stress-busting station.”

It gets heavy use during finals week, but is set up year round to encourage students to gather with classmates for activities other than cramming for exams, says Debra Colley, the New York university’s executive vice president.

Student success is the top priority for 84 percent of the campus leaders who responded to a UB survey.

Across higher education, institutions are blending instruction and extracurricular lives. Living/learning communities, data-driven advising and academic pathways, among other progressive initiatives, should continue to produce results at enterprising two- and four-year institutions—and will therefore see more widespread adoption.

A sampling of responses to UB's Look Ahead surveys of campus leaders. (Click to enlarge infographic)

As we ring in 2016, higher education leaders have much to look forward to as well as, of course, much work to be done. Outlook 2016 is UB’s second annual special issue aimed at providing insight on the major trends expected to impact campus leaders in the year to come.

Effective student success initiatives begin long before that first day of classes and often continue beyond graduation. The colleges and universities highlighted in the third round of UB’s national Models of Excellence awards program demonstrate a commitment to that holistic experience.

Adult students engage with their instructor at Lipscomb’s behavioral assessment center, which uses tactics traditionally used in the corporate world to identify and to award credit for incoming students’ life experiences.

A series of initiatives championed by Gov. Bill Haslam in Tennessee—home of the Tennessee Promise free community college initiative—promotes higher education to learners of all ages.

The Reconnect + Complete initiative for degree completion aims for an elusive demographic: non-traditional students, many with families and careers, whose college experiences were cut short by illness, financial troubles or other issues.

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