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Student Success Best Practices Library

Supporting students in today’s changing environment can sometimes feel like an overwhelming challenge for those accountable for student success. To help our members navigate this shifting terrain, we’ve cataloged more than 360 best practices from across our research forums. This library of research continues to influence the development of our technologies and informs how we support both our community college and our four-year members.

We invite you to explore our student success library, which is organized into the eight categories and problem areas partners ask us about most.

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American higher education has enjoyed a multidecade-long enrollment expansion that may soon come to an end. The recommendations in this report aim to help you and your leadership team reshape your student success strategy in preparation for the anticipated enrollment downturn of the 2020s.

Colleges and universities face seemingly constant scrutiny from external stakeholders questioning the value of a postsecondary education. Is this criticism warranted? Explore this infographic to learn more about the fate of our students.

Next-Generation Advising


Complex student populations and limited advisor capacity make improving outcomes a challenge. This infographic outlines four key elements of a population health management approach to student success, including strategies you can implement today to begin the shift toward population-based student support.

At the majority of schools, students receiving help are those self-aware and tenacious enough to ask for it, rather than those who need it most. This study profiles innovators’ efforts to elevate student success initiatives from the current patchwork of support services to an actively managed enterprise process.

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To make advising more proactive and individualized with limited resources, leading institutions in student success have adopted two principles from health care: population health management and coordinated care. Learn how advisors can use these principles to prioritize their time toward students with rising risk instead of only focusing on those with urgent, critical needs.

Access best practices on how enrollment managers are growing transfer enrollment by eliminating barriers to entry posed by standard outreach and admissions procedures.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice


Because common student success metrics are lagging indicators of institutional and student performance, academic leaders may not know the root causes of any given demographic disparity in their data. Our infographic outlines 116 leading indicators of demographic disparities in student success metrics like retention, academic performance, graduation, and career outcomes.

Organization and Accountability


While most academic leaders think of advising, academics, or student affairs when thinking about student success, the administrative infrastructure of a campus has an equally key role to play. Read this Roadmap to learn how the right policies, processes, and financial supports form the foundation for a broader student success strategy.

The adage “it takes a village” is often applied to challenging but worthy missions, and no initiative on your campus is more important than ensuring that students succeed. Read these representative results from EAB members to learn how diverse stakeholders are making an impact.

Onboarding, Engagement, and First-Year Experience


Historically underserved and nontraditional students make up the majority of today’s community college population, yet their completion rates continue to lag behind those of traditional students. Improve student outcomes for at-risk populations with 21 strategies to promote equitable opportunities.

More community college students are entering with remedial needs, applying for financial aid, and enrolling in college after years out of a formal educational setting. Learn to increase applicant conversion rates by streamlining the enrollment process.

Learn how your institution can improve outcomes for first-generation college students, a group that typically must overcome a variety of social, academic, and administrative barriers to succeed in college.

Degree Planning and Progress


Large required courses with failure rates as high as 30-60% can create retention and time-to-degree issues for hundreds or even thousands of students at a single institution. Discover how to encourage highly effective, engaging pedagogy and give faculty knowledge of student-centered course redesign.

In this publication, EAB experts share best practices to reduce jargon during onboarding, engage students in financial literacy training, and reimagine the traditional academic calendar to encourage reenrollment—to name just a few.

A growing number of college students arrive on campus with a limited understanding of how to progress efficiently to completion. Use this study to unlock your institution’s capabilities within the Guided Pathways model and efficiently move toward student success goals.

Early Intervention


We’re all busy. Which means that many student success initiatives may often feel out of reach. But sometimes just a minute is enough time to make a difference in student success.

Faculty play a critical role in shaping the student experience, but they’re surprisingly absent from student success strategies. Our infographic outlines six ways that academic units and individual faculty members can help students successfully navigate their academic careers.

Career Development


Growing public concern about the return on investment (ROI) associated with higher education has created pressure for both public and private institutions to assume greater responsibility for students’ post-graduation outcomes. Explore our report for 34 best practices to incorporate meaningful career exploration into the academic curriculum.

Today’s universities are under increasing public pressure to provide career preparation and support economic mobility. Learn how to create more opportunities for applied learning and help students translate between an academic transcript and a career-ready resume.

Competition for employment among recent graduates is fiercer than ever and expectations for new hires are high. This study explores opportunities for student affairs departments to help students develop workforce skills outside the classroom.

Financial Wellness


Colleges and universities have both a moral and financial imperative to do everything in their power to ensure finances aren’t the primary cause of attrition for most students. Explore our Roadmap to learn how to identify students at risk of financial attrition and ensure they get the help they need.

Students can’t be expected to achieve academic success or personal wellness until their basic needs are met. Use this Roadmap to learn how student affairs officers can support food and housing security on campus.

"We've really thought about student success from a cross-functional standpoint."

Stacey Bradley, Senior AVP of Student Affairs and Academic Support, University of South Carolina

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