Who needs to be involved?
Assembling and aligning a team
Transformation work in higher education, as elsewhere, requires a dedicated team of diverse individuals who represent the breadth and depth of an institution. Engage and empower full teams — from senior executives to students, staff, and faculty — to offer a diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives.
Supporting at-risk students at Delaware State University
How might we better support at-risk students’ transition from high school to college?
- immersed first-year students in a six-week summer academic development learning community that included free textbooks and traditional student services, such as academic advising, tutoring, and peer mentoring
- designed a new-student orientation
Project Success (PS) launched as an intensive academic program for provisionally admitted students (i.e., those slightly below the university’s admission standards).
Learn more about developmental education from our research
Creating career communities at Sinclair Community College
How might we reorganize academic and support services around “career communities” to help students understand, access, and pursue pathways leading to career opportunities in the community?
- launched career communities to provide students with targeted support based on their program of study
- included business leaders on advisory boards for the career communities
Career communities helped establish stronger connections among students, despite Sinclair being a commuter campus. Communities have also contributed to greater faculty interaction and collaboration.
Learn more about career support from our research
Engaging faculty in the first-year experience at Northern Arizona University
How might we develop an innovative first-year experience that engages faculty in building academic success early on in students’ careers through pedagogically driven course programs?
- developed a set of first- and second-year courses based on research-based pedagogy and customized to different student segments
- trained faculty through 3 to 5 course-redesign sessions that addressed academic socialization, course design, and section alignment
- certified courses that met first-year student needs (e.g., academic learning and academic socialization practices)
- subsidized teacher’s assistant (TA) for certified course
University established FYLI, an office that leads the certification process, which enables curriculum consistency and quality, despite changes in lecturers and faculty. Over 90% of first-year students are enrolled in at least one FYLI course.
Learn more about pedagogy & digital learning from our research
Recasting the role of department chair at San Jacinto College
How might we redesign the role of department chair to create greater accountability and leadership?
- redesigned role of department chair to be a permanent position with no teaching load during fall or spring semesters
- recast chair’s primary responsibilities to include classroom observation, teaching evaluation, professional development, participation in major initiatives, and strategic departmental planning
- increased compensation for role to reflect the enhanced expectations
- conducted leadership development for chairs
- gave department chairs access to multiple data points, including historical performance data and customized reports from IR, as well as an end-of-course survey
- developed institution-wide student learning outcomes to promote standard key performance indicators by which to evaluate faculty
- developed Annual Department Chair & Dean Academy in which faculty leadership reflects on previous year and plans for the coming year
The college permanently appointed department chairs, relieving them of teaching and extending their contracts to 12 month, thus enabling them to focus on faculty development and departmental leadership and strategy.
Learn more about student-focused operating model from our research
Increasing institutional support at Sinclair Community College
How might we increase institutional support by enhancing college’s profile in the community and with foundations?
- focused on college’s financial responsibility and sustainability
- led meaningful engagement with community to bolster support for county levies
- built relationships with other educational institutions
- appointed leaders to champion student success agenda
- focused on high school partnerships and support to minimize the need for developmental education
- developed process to inform board and community leaders about institution’s student success track record
College president oversaw overall student success strategy and prioritized initiatives, as well as led development of fiscal culture to retire all debt.
Learn more about leadership & culture from our research
Engaging the board through strong leadership at Sinclair Community College
How might our two-year college more actively work with our board?
- participated in national student success collaboratives
- committed to both student learning and academic quality
- took ownership of student outcomes
- supported policies promoting student success and organizational efficiency
- hired strong leaders
The college participated in and championed student success initiatives.
Learn more about leadership & culture from our research
Developing an Early College High School program at San Jacinto College
How might we better support our local K-12 system by developing an early college high school that allows students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree?
- developed a long-term path for developing an Early College High School (ECHS) program
- located seven of the eight ECHS on the college’s campuses
- partnered with local school districts
- embedded eight San Jacinto College advisors in high schools during school year
- let advisors help high school seniors enroll in college, select courses, apply for financial aid, take placement tests, and interpret test scores
- encouraged students to complete advanced high school course work in addition to college-level courses
- offered discounted San Jacinto College tuition for students participating in an ECHS
In addition to discounted dual-credit programs, San Jacinto College now supports the K-12 system through sustained investments in four ECSHs and shared educational advisors.
Learn more about strategic partnerships from our research