Supporting student success at Arizona State University by changing internal policies and processes in order to make interventions more effective


How might we prioritize institutional policies to strengthen credentialing pathways and enhance effectiveness of interventions?


Five-pronged effort:

  • Reduced admissions decisions from 2 weeks to 24 hours (2007) and eased the evaluation of transfer credits
  • Required departments to list all academic major requirements in sequence, shifted requirement information to a central website (2007), required changes for requirements to be cleared with central administration, and required that all courses for a major must be offered and have enough seats for all students in that major
  • Required students to choose one of four “tracks of exploration” at entry and required students to declare a major after 45 credit hours instead of 80 credit hours (2007)
  • Centralized evaluation of lower-division courses (started in 2008)
  • Shifted retention incentives from departments being paid for retention of students within a major to retention of students within the university as a whole (2007)


Many of these changes supported advising effectiveness by making credentialing pathways clearer, yielding results like:

  • Faster admission decisions, improved access, and smoother entry
  • Better informed student choices, predictability, and clarity; students are no longer held up if a course is only offered every other year
  • Made departments responsible for their students sooner and reduced the percentage of students with undeclared major at entry from 33% to 8%
  • Prevented department-driven delays
  • Removed the disincentive to keep students in a major that wasn’t the best fit for them

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Pell Recipients


Students of Color


Net cost of Attendance

$31,449 (in-state)