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Our Student Success Summit and the Best Practices It Helped Reveal

Kim Fish

In mid-April, Student Connections hosted our first annual Student Success Summit. To help us inaugurate the event, members of our Expert Advisory Board executive committee joined us. Staff from more than 30 colleges, universities and supporting organizations from around the country participated. Considering the many influencers of student success, we wanted to include as many viewpoints as possible.

But the variety didn’t stop there. Executive committee members lead a diverse number of initiatives at their institutions. As a result, the summit benefited from expertise in areas that included research, marketing, financial aid, student management, academic affairs, financial literacy, and provost roles.

This range of perspectives and our members’ deep knowledge and experience were vital to the summit’s success. Our dialogue over the two-day event, which included both presentations and informal, spontaneous discussion, highlighted many innovative ideas and best practices.

As you can probably guess, the topics were as diverse as our participants. But, they shared something very important in common. All had a clear connection to student success. By definition, that makes them critical to the overall success of our advisory board community and to our mission at Student Connections. In fact, collaboration with academic experts has driven the development and continuous improvement of Success Center, our new student success technology, since day one.

Here is a summary of some of the areas we covered at the Student Success Summit:

  • Inescapable engagement
  • The importance of using data and metrics
  • Needs-based programs
  • Reducing overall student debt
  • Lowering default rates
  • Networking
  • Smart borrowing
  • Freshman learning communities
  • First-gen success programs
  • Academic coaching programs
  • Onboarding activities
  • Peer-led clubs
  • Computer coding boot camp
  • Financial literacy
  • Using mobile apps to engage meaningfully and effectively with students

Interested in more details? We’ve published a comprehensive summary of the summit to our advisory board online community. Advisory board members also participate in regular calls, surveys and other engagement that regularly inspires creative and novel approaches to both established and emerging challenges and opportunities. Expert Advisory Board members also can nominate students to join our Student Advisory Board. Contact us for more information on joining.

Headshot-FishKim Fish is a Student Connections product manager.