Opening the gates for successful student outcomes.

Position::OUTLOOK 2017: Student Success

Ensuring students are prepared for college and then do well academically, emotionally, physically and financially are key goals of student success initiatives on campuses today.

And these programs aren't on the minds of only administrators whose day-to-day jobs involve supporting students in these ways. Top institutional officials have student success on their minds--most of them even more so than in 2016, according to a UB survey that includes responses from 66 presidents, chancellors and provosts.

Student success is also--for the third year in a row--one of the top four priorities of college leadership teams. On the list of 12 potential priority areas, student success (at 88 percent) edged controlling costs (74 percent). The next most popular response, fundraising, was chosen by 41 percent of respondents.

The next group of priorities--raising non-tuition revenue, and expanding college access and online learning--all registered at around 25 percent, and all three can be filed under student success efforts.

Campus success comprises a wide range of initiatives. Expanding college access, helping first-generation or low-income students, improving retention, and improving academic success or outcomes are the most popular aims of programs started in the past few years. The most popular initiatives being started or enhanced in 2017 cover career preparation, graduation rates and guided pathways.

Providing career guidance for alumni and boosting life skills attainment are the least popular success initiative focus areas. Only about half of respondents' schools have a program or are planning one to help alumni. About six in 10 schools are targeting life skills.

Regardless of content and aims, it typically takes a village to create and implement student success programs. In a separate UB survey of 74 admissions, enrollment and financial aid administrators, 55 percent say they will be crossing department...

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