Are colleges student-ready? 3 takeaways from an ASU+GSV panel

Higher education leaders discussed student success and access  at a panel during last week's ASU+GSV Summit in Salt Lake City, Rodger Riddell reports for Education Dive.

We often talk about students being "college-ready," said one of the panelists, Nivine Megahed, president of National Louis University.

But what are we doing to make our colleges "student-ready," she challenged.

"If an institution is 'student-ready,' you can really try to address a lot of the things that happen that end up being a result of the institution not supporting the student appropriately," Megahed said.

She acknowledged that a lot happens in students' lives that are outside of the college's control. Nevertheless, Megahed said, truly student-ready institutions still do everything that is within their control to help students be successful.

"If you control 'student-ready' as an institution, and you're doing what you can to support this population, you're going get a lot more students through than you're currently getting through," Megahed said.

Another panelist, Carlo Salerno, vice president of analytics at Strada Education Network, agreed,  saying there might be "100 reasons" why students don't succeed that have little to do with the institution itself.

Data-literacy and other barriers to using predictive analytics

The panel also included Jonathan Burdick, the dean of college admission and vice provost for enrollment initiatives at the University of Rochester and Todd Zipper, president and CEO of Learning House. Panelists also discussed transfer student success and the cost of higher education. They expressed concerns about the gaps in data for transfer students and students who drop out and return to a different school. Regarding cost for students, the panelist agreed that while MOOCs, competency-based education, and alternative credentialing were helpful in reducing cost, they said that the most helpful solution would be increased state and federal funding (Riddell, Education Dive, 5/12). 

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