Melinda Salaman, Associate Director
Student Success Collaborative-Navigate
Welcome to the inaugural post of the Student Success Collaborative™ (SSC) blog for community colleges, Navigating Student Success. Through this medium, we’ll share news, perspectives, and insights to help SSC members and their teams leverage our unique onboarding platform, Navigate, in new ways and ground their student success initiatives in breaking ideas, practices and research.
There is no doubt that technology—in this case, EAB’s direct-to student platform, Navigate—can drive real change, but technology alone won’t guarantee every student meets their education goals. That’s why at EAB we believe that by bringing together some of the brightest, most motivated minds in higher education, we can combine the power of insights with the scale and simplicity of technology to help more students succeed.
Where is the Collaborative today?
As our earliest members, you have played an integral role in the development of the platform, and we are excited to continue to solicit your feedback as we grow. We currently partner with 15 member institutions, and through these partnerships we will serve nearly 500,000 students across 10 states.
Our membership started with a select group of progressive college leaders who understood our vision and the positive impact a comprehensive, guided onboarding platform can have in our industry. These early partners worked alongside our team of researchers, user experience experts, developers, and consultants to create the Navigate platform as it is today. As the membership grows, the platform improves; leadership teams help identify the most important components of the platform to get right, students provide feedback on functionality and design, and our team spreads these best practices and lessons learned across the collaborative.
More resources on student success
Interested in currently available resources in the Community College Executive Forum research library on maximizing student services and meeting the completion challenge? Check out the resources available in our insight centers.
What behavioral economics tells us about student decision-making
Student success is not a novel concept for community college leaders—we’ve run after this challenge for well over a decade, spending billions of dollars in the process. In spite of this investment, graduation rates remain low. It may seem simple, but to move the dial on community college student success, community college students have to remain at the center of our research, our strategic plans, and our solution.
Our next blog post explores the (oftentimes) poor decisions students make during the intake process that have major negative consequences on their financial aid, academic plans, and likelihood to graduate. Some colleges have tried to solve for this by eliminating student choice altogether, but these interventions can be both costly and exclusionary. Instead, college leaders must understand the context in which students make decisions and learn how to create an environment that steers students towards optimal enrollment decisions. In this post, we use behavioral economic theory and EAB user experience research to identify the most impactful ways of guiding students to best-fit options.