UMBC partnership will analyze, improve student success initiatives

September 15th, 2016

University will take student-level insights from across the institution and learn more about which initiatives are making an impact


Civitas Learning and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have formed a partnership that will enable university leaders to measure the efficacy and tune the future development of student success initiatives, programs and policies designed to improve persistence, completion and graduation.

UMBC leaders have deployed an array of technologies and strategies for student success, but often need better real-time information to take precise action to support student needs and accurately assess what’s working to improve outcomes. Using Civitas Learning’s Student Success Platform and flagship application, Illume, UMBC will be able to synthesize data from across the institution in order to develop a more complete picture of which efforts are working — and their impact on specific student populations.

“UMBC has a long tradition of using data-driven approaches in order to create nationally recognized models supporting student success,” said Dr. Philip Rous, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at UMBC. “Aligned with this ongoing commitment and a fundamental objective of our new strategic plan, our partnership with Civitas will augment UMBC’s analytic capabilities to further enhance the success of our students.”

By integrating data from historically disparate systems on campus, Civitas Learning couples recent advances in data science with compelling visualizations and tools to provide institutions with the ability to confidently take action using a unified student success platform.

UMBC will leverage insights and action tools from Illume to better understand the complex factors that drive student success — including uncovering the powerful predictors of student progression, courses that have the biggest impact on student success, and which interventions are most likely to help students overcome barriers to graduation. This work will help guide outreach and shape initiatives.

“UMBC has a robust business intelligence system, and we have seen how data-driven insights can improve student outcomes. However, we realize that to move to the next level, we need more expertise in data science modeling to answer the most difficult questions regarding student success,” said Jack Suess, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at UMBC. “In partnering with Civitas, we know we are working with the best in data science modeling and will have the tools to answer questions such as what courses are critical to ensuring graduation and which interventions work best with different students. We see our partnership with Civitas Learning as an important next step in scaling our capacity to support students.”

“For fifty years, UMBC leaders have been passionate advocates for innovation and trailblazers in providing honors-quality undergraduate education,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning. “Their deep commitment to delivering on the promise of higher education to students from diverse backgrounds is tightly aligned with our mission of helping a million more students graduate.”

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Material from a press release was used in this report.

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