EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship is a nine-month, cohort-based experience that aims to build community, develop a depth of expertise in the topics and issues that matter most to institutional strategy, and provide focused professional skills development from EAB industry experts. Our inaugural cohort kicked-off in August 2020 and concluded in March 2021 with the presentation of the fellows’ capstone projects.
In each of the monthly sessions the fellows gained depth in new topics or terrains, developed leadership skills, and built a network with peers from institutions across the country. The topics covered included student success, budget models, change management, and more. The culminating experience for the EAB Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship was the capstone project that substantively contributes to the fellows’ professional advancement and helps solve a pressing challenge facing their home institutions. In addition to the content from the monthly subject-matter expertise and professional skills development sessions, the fellows also had access to EAB’s research library and experts and were paired with a “buddy” to help develop ideas and get feedback along the way.
The 18 fellows in the 2020 cohort tackled a wide range of issues in their capstone projects, reflecting the diversity of institutions and professional experiences of the participants. Several fellows deeply examined student success at their institutions, specifically focusing on equity issues. Others made recommendations for improving campus sustainability, building stronger online programs, and adjusting graduate tuition rates.
Below are a few of the key themes that appeared in multiple capstone projects. Scroll down to read about each of the capstone projects in the fellows’ own words
Improve student persistence toward college and toward graduation by:
- Incentivizing faculty to engage in student advising and mentoring
- Encouraging students to develop a college-going mindset
- Offering completion and retention grants
- Making sure the right students and mentors are getting into peer mentoring programs
Encourage lifelong learning through:
- Innovative educational offerings and delivery methods
- Applying an equity lens to recruitment, programming, support, and partnerships
- Strong retention for online undergraduate programs
Embrace transformational change for the institution by:
- Becoming carbon neutral in the next two decades
- Reviewing and updating the institution’s core curriculum
- Moving the institution’s strategic goals from promise to reality
- Linking the institution’s strategic plan to academic change and the institution’s mission
2020 EAB Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship capstone project summaries
The blog posts below are written by the participants to showcase their project and early outcomes.
Note: The views and opinions in the blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.
Eric Brooks, Analyst; University of Wisconsin, Madison
Brent Fountain, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Mississippi State University
Lila McDowell Carlsen, Associate Provost; Pepperdine University
Maya Evans, Director Growth Strategies; University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jennifer Palilonis, Director, Center for Emerging Media Design and Development; Ball State University
Kevin Gravina, Executive Director of Treasury, Investment, and Business Strategy; Colorado School of Mines
Les Potts, Associate VP for Administration; Mississippi State University
Kendra Killpatrick, Senior Associate Dean of Seaver College; Pepperdine University
Misty Benett, Assistant Dean; Central Michigan University
Amy Capolupo, Director of Disability Student Services; University of Montana
Renard Harris, Chief Diversity Officer; College of Charleston
Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration; Illinois State University
Moving the needle on student success metrics by changing faculty incentives: Rewarding advising and student mentoring
Lynne Ford, Associate Vice President Academic Experience; College of Charleston
Jonathon Russell, Associate Dean; Central Michigan University
Mindy Markham, Associate Professor, Faculty Senate President; Kansas State University
Ben Brandon, Sr. Director of Student Success Analytics; Georgia State University
Want to participate in the Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship or nominate a colleague?
Learn more about upcoming cohorts or contact your Strategic Leader