Bringing a Student Voice into the Room

This practice is useful for keeping student success front and center along your transformation journey. Bringing a student into strategic conversations empowers your team both to more deeply understand the student experience and to stay aligned with your students’ needs.

  • Suggested time: Variable
  • Materials: None
  • When to use: When thinking about any new initiative or program that impacts student


  • Identify an upcoming meeting or series of meetings where you and your team will be discussing an initiative related to student success.

  • Determine the background, experiences, and aims of the type of student you are hoping this initiative will serve.

  • Create a shortlist with your team of students who best fit your chosen criteria, and invite one or two of the students to attend the upcoming meetings.

  • If possible, invite students in person, so they can get a deeper sense of the context and purpose of their role in joining your team’s conversations about student success. Let them know how much your team would value hearing their perspective, and that it would help ensure the crafting (or, revising) of an initiative that truly meets the needs of students. If the first or second student is not available, simply go down your list.

  • Welcome students! At the start of your meeting, remember to remind students of the value they bring to the table, for both your team and for the rest of the students the initiative will serve. As the environment may be unfamiliar or stressful for students, encourage them to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and let them know that they are greatly appreciated.

  • Spend time with your team considering how to integrate the student’s ideas into your initiative. Even if there aren’t specific ideas, reflect on whether any new insights or questions emerged through the conversations with students.

  • After launching the initiative, continue to invite students to relevant meetings to get their thoughts on how well they think the initiative is going, and to hear any other feedback they might have for your team.


Solution Areas