Student Success: Small Ideas can Lead to Big Improvements

Implementing a student success strategy across campus is beyond important.

The success of every college student is at the top of an institution’s goals. However, reviewing processes, implementing changes, and working to evolve faculty practices can take time. Change takes commitment and isn’t always easy.

That said, there may be small, inexpensive ideas that educators can try to put into action to help with student success, while bigger changes are being planned out.

We recently read an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that explores how researchers are taking a more behavioral approach to improving student success, and looking at what students go through emotionally when applying and working through college… “Researching colleges, applying, filing the FAFSA, registering for classes — the whole process of getting to and through college can be seen as a series of complex decisions crying out for a nudge.”

The article discusses several ways researchers have made an impact using small and inexpensive ideas. For example, researchers Ben Castleman and Lindsay C. Page, “tested a simple, cheap solution: Send at-risk students a series of customized text-message reminders that they could reply to for extra help. The messages raised enrollment substantially…”.   

3 Essential Strategies for Student Success

Research shows that 1 out of 3 students drop out of college after their first year—making it more critical than ever that they are prepared with the skills they need to be successful, and prompting many institutions to take a hard look at their current student success strategy.

If you’re campus is among them, here are three essential strategies you can put into action today that can have a lasting impact:

Evaluate and Ramp up Your Existing Orientation Program
Orientation is all about getting off on the right foot, so make sure that incoming students have a sense of community, feel safe, and are equipped with the self-management skills they need to succeed in college and beyond.

One example would be integrating resources, such as Atomic Learning course on “Becoming a Better Test Taker”, “Preparing for a College Workload”, or “Being a Better Note Taker” into a First Year Experience (FYE) course or another freshman intro course.