This website builds on research stemming from the transformation journeys of 13 Frontier Set institutions. From this study, a Transformational Model was developed as a framework for postsecondary institutions seeking to dramatically improve their operational efficiency and the effectiveness of their student success initiatives.
To explore the ideas, tools, and approaches that these institutions have employed, please follow the links of interest below. Consider the Executive Summaries as a useful starting point for relevant overviews of the two bodies of research.
To explore specific aspects of the model and the research, from synthesized learnings, hypotheses, and common threads, click on the links below.
Sequence learning objectives and assessments.
With faculty and staff support, institutions provide credentialing pathways via options and partnerships that help students progress to successful outcomes.
Empower underprepared learners.
Institutions rely on the structure and delivery of developmental education, as well as the related goals, outcomes, and resources (including human resources) to aid student success.
Guide, monitor, intervene.
Institutions use faculty advising, professional advising, and other models to support students on the frontlines and serves as a critical integration point to deliver other student services.
Implement human & academic resources.
Institutions provide broad overarching student support to comprehensively address academic, transitional, and human services needs that can impact student success.
Increase post-accreditation opportunities.
Institutions consider career support as part of the arc of student success transformation, incorporating career support services and building workforce recruitment partnerships.
Design and deploy digital courseware.
Institutions maximize opportunities for students through digital pedagogy that promotes access and personalized learning, as well as new mediums for instructors to use in teaching.
Make support available.
Institutions rely on both availability of financial aid support and how it is structured as a support service that can contribute to transformative student success practices.
These reflect critical functions that enable the institution to effectively implement and deliver student-centered solutions. They broadly enable the institution to mobilize and more effectively serve a larger, more diverse student base.
Structure services for students.
Institutions adjust their operating models to deliver effective and efficient support and services for students.
Establish team and values.
Leadership stability aligned with a culture of empowerment across all levels is foundational to an institution’s ability to improve student success through institutional transformation.
Implementing a student success vision requires clear, strategic, and multi-stage communications and change management planning to meaningfully engage all stakeholders.
Develop and manage leaders.
Institutions recognize the link between developing, managing, and promoting their talent as foundational to transforming student success.
Collaborate with others.
Institutions navigate “doing more with less” by seeking partnerships with K-12 schools, social service agencies, and other workforce developers.
Engaging with local, state, and national policy-makers and serving as educational influencers and advisers provides institutions with another channel to support transformation.
Make data-informed decisions.
As a strategic partner to transformation, IR leads and supports data analysis providing quantitative evidence for robust decision-making.
Invest in software and hardware.
IT enables support for transformation functions such as early alerts, pathways, and data analysis, as well as collaboration, including between academic and student services.
Identify resources and evaluate impact.
Institutions maximize their economic model by enhancing their financial decision-making options through budgeting and revenue generation.