The Power to Learn and Improve Outcomes — Why More Colleges and Universities Are Joining The Mission


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Recently the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice issued another report on housing and food insecurity faced by higher ed students. The report shines a much-needed light on the reality our students are facing on a daily basis. Almost 40,000 students at 57 California Community Colleges participated. The results indicate:
  • 50% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days,
  • 60% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year,
  • 19% of respondents were homeless in the previous year.
There is a moral imperative to solving for the barriers our students are facing. And the reality is that the stakes for success have never been higher. The digital footprints of our students have never been deeper, and quite frankly, they expect us to use their data to help them. Students have never been more ready. Educators have never craved changing the game more. In short, the opportunity is in front of us and the time is now. More colleges and universities deeply resonate with our mission to make the most of learning data to help more, and more diverse students cross the stage. But we know it’s not easy work. Culture shifts and change management underpin every conversation. We’ve been there, and we can help. As leading colleges and universities in our growing community of practice note, there is no silver bullet; however, the outcomes show that the right data, solutions and services can make the job a lot easier — and make your impact even more profound.
Throughout the day I have the insight I need to have more informed conversations with my students.” – Pete Smith UT Arlington
Mark Milliron, Civitas Learning Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer recently sat down with University of Texas at Arlington’s Pete Smith, Chief Analytics Officer, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for leaders and educators in student success. In the podcast, Smith reflects on how this work is even changing his day-to-day interaction with his students. “As a practicing faculty member, this wasn’t on my radar for many, many years,” says Smith, “Now, I no longer want to walk into my classroom without having pulled up my dashboard. And honestly, a dashboard is a basic reporting technique, but what’s behind it is a complex model of my students and their engagement — from as recently as that very morning. Then, throughout the day I have the insight I need to have more informed conversations with my students. I can help them and move them forward in ways that were been completely invisible to me several years ago.” At SXSWedu 2019 University of South Florida’s VP of Student Success Paul Dosal discussed realities for today’s students with NASPA VP of Research Amelia Parnell. In the past few years, USF has also undertaken transformative work to better care for their students — and as a result, more students are walking across the graduation stage.
We are compelled to innovate. We aren’t getting more resources. We have to do better. I needed to know who was struggling today — and then get them the resources they need now. I can do that because of Civitas Learning.” – Paul Dosal SXSWedu, 2019
We’re rolling up our sleeves right along with presidents, provosts, faculty and student success teams across the country to look at the data, find the opportunities, design the actions and learn from the results. That’s why we are so honored to welcome our latest cohort of student success pioneers to our growing community of practice. Just in the last few months, University of Cincinnati, Western Governors University,  New Jersey City University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Massachusetts Boston, Blinn College, Florida State University, two more colleges in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and more have joined our Million-More Mission. They are now a part of a growing learning community that includes 375 other colleges and universities worldwide using our platform, solutions and services to engage and nudge students, guide course planning and class scheduling, and support case management by advisors and faculty. In the past year, we learned even more about what’s working to improve student outcomes. We doubled down on the capabilities delivered with our platform and dramatically improved implementation processes and timeline. We are now surfacing new shared learnings from across the community, tailored to specific institutions. We’re delivering a unified experience for students in a whole new way — from analytically fueled personalized recommendations and mobile engagement to in-app registration and course planning. With our next generation of Inspire, advisors and faculty now have even more robust, prescriptive student engagement opportunities within their case management and workflow advising solution. Over the course of the spring, our Co-Founders will share more details about future product innovation and other updates about what’s next in our work together. For our partner institutions, keep an eye on the Civitas Hub for more information and sharing soon. Leaders and educators in our community of practice are now translating the right data into actionable strategies for case-management-driven advising. Moreover, they now have the much-needed ability to precisely measure the impact of student success initiatives across their institutions. And, as a direct result of this work, colleges and universities nationally and internationally are seeing up-to-double-digit percentage point gains in retention and persistence. In short, we’ve never been more inspired, excited, or optimistic about what’s next for Civitas Learning and the colleges and universities we serve!

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