Colleges Should Review their Data for Student Success

This simple activity can prompt institutional change . The Lumina Foundation Grant Achieving the Dream is based on a Culture of Evidence : Community College’s look at their student data and research to determine the best solution for local student issues. Fayetteville State University is a prime example of an institution that took to heart the results of its institutional data and created interventions that addressed the gaps. (Kuh 2005) By disaggregating their student data by race/ethnicity/ gender and class year, administrators and faculty can better see the gaps in their educational system’.

     One type of investment that we see from the LUMINA example is an investment in your technology infrastructure. In my opinion it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel but streamlining your program and finding gaps is a good way to make sure your program is providing a culture of evidence. According to Tierney ‘With these findings an institution can create local initiatives to respond to the types of students they serve. ‘As previously acknowledged ‘one size does not fit all’, locally owned solutions are necessary to address the needs of a given campuses students.For example, we have improved on the technology now how can we get enrollment up? For example, if we want to enroll and retain more First Generation students how do we do that ? We look at our data and we have a 15% First Generation  student enrollment .We may decide to increase that by 10% by 2017(From my research a lot of colleges have high percentages of first generation students). Now if we already have an initiative in place we can look at our data and identify gaps to improve on the ‘effective practice’. But if we don’t it may not be in the budget to create a new program. So staff, faculty and administrators will have to work within the confines of the data to build retention and graduation rates Zachry, E., & Coghlan, E. (2010).

     One of the things Dr Kezar( Laureate Education Producer) talked about last week was building connections with the community.This is in my opinion one of the ways to invest in the college or university . building alliances with influential stakeholders , hey look at your alumni , what corporations or businesses that  are willing to invest in your student support program?

    This is in my opinion, what higher education will look like in the next five years building those relationships and listening to the students and creating a culture of  evidence,communication and collaboration not just in the college but in the community at large.

         Recommended Reading

Kuh, G.D. Kinzie,J. Schuh, J.H. Whitt,E.J. & Associates (2005) Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA. Jossey Bass

Tierney, W.G. (2000) Power, Identity and The Dilemma of College Student Departure. InJ.M. Braxton (Ed.) Reworking of the Student Departure 

Puzzle(pp.213-234)Nashville Tennessee: Vanderbuilt University Press

Venney,Carmen (2020):Colleges should Review their Data for Student Success:Richard R.Riley College of Education and Leadership:Walden University

Zachry, E. M., & Coghlan, E. (2010). Investing in change: How much do Achieving the Dream colleges spend—and from what resources—to become data-driven institutions? New York, NY: MDRC.

Retrieved from:

Zachry, E., & Coghlan, E. (2010). Investing in Change: How Much Do Achieving the Dream Colleges Spend – And From What Resources – To Become Data-Driven Institutions? Copyright 2010 by MDRC. Reprinted by permission.

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