It is no secret to those of us working in postsecondary and higher education that our institutions were not originally designed with student success at their core. Yet, many institutions are now discovering that the success of the entire higher education ecosystem is intimately intertwined with the success of students. Starting with my first on-campus leadership role while as an undergraduate, I’ve spent my entire career working to create conditions for student success.
So, what is student success? For many leaders and administrators, it is defined by graduation or retention rates. Those are important metrics that help a campus assess whether they are on the right track. But more than that, student success is the belief that when we focus on authentic connections with students, on creating a feeling of being seen, of belonging, we are creating successful students. At its core, I believe student success is about making sure our campus spaces, places, and people are refocused with students at the center. When this happens, we can begin to make progress supporting students, especially those who have been historically excluded from higher education.
Follow my blog to read more about student success, student belonging and student development through my lens of 25-years in the higher education industry, making data-driven decisions that create pathways for student success.