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Louisiana State University’s “Strategize Your Summer” initiative

January 31, 2023

Anna Bartel

Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Strategic Analytics, Louisiana State University

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.


As with many higher education institutions around the nation, our campus has seen a decline in summer course enrollment. How do we increase summer enrollment while increasing student success outcomes?


The Office of Academic Affairs has begun a more proactive role in summer school planning, utilizing data analytics for high-need course offerings, meeting with college leadership, surveying students, and offering more online courses.

Ongoing strategies to “Strategize Your Summer”-LSU’s branding campaign for summer school-include:

  • Utilizing curricular analytics to determine curricular complexity and determining high-need courses during specific terms.
  • Utilizing EAB historical course analytics to supplement this data collection-identifying historic high DFW courses.
  • Reviewing internal data regarding high waitlist courses, midterm/final grade reports, critical tracking reports, transfer coursework from outside the institution, and students who are just shy of a few credits for senior college admittance.
  • Inputting such data into data visualization software.
  • Performing an intensive communication and marketing campaign based on personalization and positive, behavioral psychological messaging.

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Longer-term plans that coincide with our “Strategize Your Summer” campaign include:

  • Coordinating with our Office of Financial Management to customize financial aid messaging to students with estimated funds available for use for summer school.
  • Working with EAB and academic advisors for a truly customizable experience where students are provided financial aid estimates and course planning to keep students on track for success.


I’d like to thank EAB for providing invaluable resources that spearheaded this initiative. I am also appreciative of the Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship Program as it brought unique perspectives regarding pressing higher education issues to the forefront and provided a space for us to brainstorm innovative ideas to such challenges.


Promoting Timely Degree Completion:  Reconciling Student Choice and the Four-year Graduation Imperative.  EAB Research Brief, 2016

Academic Program Innovation: Designing Programs to Stand Out in a Crowded Market. Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship Monthly Session, September 2022

How to Encourage College Summer Enrollment: Final Lessons from the EASE Project. Center for Applied Behavioral Science at MDRC, 2020

See the fellows’ blogs from the capstone projects

Anna Bartel and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in fall 2022

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