Navigating Student Success Blog

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Confessions of a community college secret shopper

Melinda Salaman on February 8, 2017  |  Permalink

Topics: Community College, Admissions, Enrollment Management, Student Retention and Success, Marketing and Branding, First Year Experience

If there was ever a time to get comfortable driving on a highway, hurtling 70 mph on the I-69 toward Houston at midnight probably isn’t one of them. During my travels I’ve learned that indeed everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of lanes on the highway, the speed limit, and the amount of anxiety my poor mother felt strapped into the passenger seat next to me.

This was just one of the many memorable stories I collected while traveling to visit community colleges across the country. The mission? Go undercover as a new student applying and enrolling to community college. In coordination with EAB members across the country, our research team conducted these "secret shopping" exercises at colleges in 25 states and cataloged over 800 hours observing and role-playing the new student experience.

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From this, I walked away with a clear understanding of pain points new students face during onboarding, and a deeper appreciation for the complexities of getting customer service right at community colleges. Below are just four of many lessons learned from my undercover research adventures, and a reflection of what that means for innovation and redesign efforts at community colleges.

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Confessions of a community college secret shopper

Make winning grants your New Year’s resolution

on January 23, 2017  |  Permalink

Topics: Community College, Fundraising, Advancement

Meacie Fairfax

For many, applying for grant funding can be as difficult as keeping our New Year resolutions. A recent NBC News segment reported that only 8 percent of Americans will achieve their resolutions this year. So, if you’ve resolved to win more grants, how can you beat the odds?

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Make winning grants your New Year’s resolution

EAB wins the GPS Direct Seal of Approval

Melinda Salaman on October 28, 2016  |  Permalink

Topics: Community College, Student Retention and Success, First Year Experience

Last week, Complete College America announced EAB as one of the inaugural recipients of the GPS Direct Seal of Approval, an award that recognizes software platforms that most align with the organization’s Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) initiative. As noted on this blog on a few different occasions, the Guided Pathways model is an incredibly important shift towards radical institutional restructuring for the benefit of students.

EAB is proud to receive this honor, primarily because of what it signals about our commitment to community college student success.

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EAB wins the GPS Direct Seal of Approval