Data-informed Strategic Planning Leads to More Equitable Support at Snow College

Snow College Sees 12% Retention Increase with Data-Activated Student Support

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With a student population of over 5,000, a six-county service area, and the main campus in Ephraim, Utah, Snow College celebrates its small size and the personal attention students receive from professors and advisors during their junior college studies. 

To provide the highest quality experience for its students, Snow College partnered with Civitas Learning to uncover institution-specific predictors of student success. Actionable insights surfaced using the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform guided strategic decision-making by revealing the impact of student success practices across different student populations. This visibility into what’s working for their students allowed leaders and their teams to tailor engagement efforts to better serve them, contributing to a 12% increase in retention from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023.

“Civitas Learning is vital to our strategic planning. The data we’re finding directly influences the strategies we put forward. It shows us specific information like how meeting with an advisor improves persistence for a particular group of students.”

— Teri Clawson
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
Snow College

This data-informed approach enables Teri Clawson, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, to better communicate with campus stakeholders and decision-makers about the best support strategies for Snow students. Backed by Initiative Analysis data, Clawson can more effectively direct the allocation of resources and refine approaches to provide more equitable and impactful student support.

“Civitas Learning is vital to our strategic planning,” Clawson says. “The data we’re finding directly influences the strategies we put forward. It shows us specific information like how meeting with an advisor improves persistence for a particular group of students.” Access to digestible data and actionable analytics through the Civitas Learning platform empowers the Snow team to use efficient student success practices in two important ways:

  1. Offer Group Advising to Create Capacity for Personalized Support
  2. Use Powerful Predictors to Support Vulnerable Students Proactively

Group Advising Creates Capacity for Personalized Support

When campus culture is rooted in offering a personalized experience, advisors and student support staff may feel they’re not doing their best if they’re not providing one-on-one support to every student. However, sticking to a one-size-fits-all approach to advising may prevent advising centers from reaching the students who need the most help.

When Snow College accessed initiative analysis data to determine if all students benefit equally from a one-on-one advising experience, the answer was loud and clear. While all students benefit from personalized advising services, lower-performing students saw a 20% boost in persistence due to an individual advising meeting compared to a 3% lift among high-performing students. 

With advising caseloads ranging from 500 to 600 students per full-time advisor, determining the impact of one-on-one advising support across different segments of the student body helps the Snow advising team refine their practices and maximize their impact on student success. 

According to Landon Peterson, Director of Academic Advising at Snow, “This insight has allowed us to provide more equitable services to students because we now know who benefits most from personalized support.”

Knowing that students in the lower quartiles of predicted success benefit much more from personalized advising support, Snow advisors are experimenting with group advising to serve high-performing students. This creates the capacity for more personalized outreach and support for students in the lower quartiles of success.

The initiative analysis data at Snow clearly shows that some students benefit much more from personalized support than others. This insight facilitates a deeper understanding of how to best support all students and creates an opportunity to achieve more equitable outcomes for low-performing students.

Powerful Predictors Reveal Opportunities to Support Vulnerable Students Proactively

Using the Civitas Learning Platform’s powerful predictors capabilities, administrators observed that students who enrolled just before the semester had a lower likelihood of persistence than those who registered earlier. As a community college with open enrollment, there will always be students at Snow who wait to enroll until just before the term begins. However, knowing that this factor influences a student’s potential for success enables the institution to proactively support this particular group of students.

With this knowledge in hand, the student success planning committee uses the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform to easily create a list of students who enrolled just before the term. Student success teams then provide these students with early outreach using embedded communication tools like text and email, enroll them in Snow’s first-year student success class, and connect them to peer mentoring. 

Underlining just how critical these data-informed insights have been to Snow’s strategic planning process, Clawson says, “If we hadn’t had Civitas, we would not have even looked at that [factor] in the planning process. It was on no one’s radar.”

Institutions can’t change the nature of the students they serve. But, with solid data analytics and streamlined workflow capabilities, they can explore the impact of specific behaviors on students’ likelihood of success and proactively support them at scale. Gaining a more precise understanding of the factors that influence student success empowers teams to identify the students who need support and deliver the right strategies to help them succeed.

Advising and Student Success Playbook

Evidence-based practices to help academic advising teams use data analytics to improve course success, persistence, and on-time completion.
Download the Playbook

Data Analytics Enhances Strategic Planning and Leads to Better Retention

With actionable analytics, Snow College has made a real difference for its students. Engaging in data-activated strategic planning and decision-making has led to a 12% increase in retention from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023. 

The knowledge that specific student groups benefit much more from individualized advising support enables leaders to make strategic adjustments, like introducing group advising, to create more capacity for advising teams to deliver rights-sized support. The data-activated approach provides insights into the factors driving student success and ensures leaders invest in the most effective combination of strategies and initiatives to support their students.

Knowing what factors influence student success is vital to offering the right support at the right time. Bringing institutional data into a unified source and making it available in digestible, easy-to-use formats supports the work of campus leaders and decision-makers to uncover these institutional insights and guide resource allocation and program refinements.

Ready to help more students persist at your institution?

Schedule a conversation to learn how partnering with Civitas Learning can help your institution reach its student success goals.
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