This institution uses a nudge to help students achieve graduation success.

Do students need a “nudge” for graduation success?

To improve outcomes, Del Mar College nudges students at risk of dropping out, increasing graduation rate by 31 percent

Institutions hoping to improve graduation success for students could look to the British government for inspiration.

In 2010, the British government, looking for innovative solutions to some of their most challenging social problems, formed the Behavioural Insights Team, better known as the Nudge Unit.

The Unit identified places where a combination of data-driven insights and simple interventions can have positive social impacts. For example, to help curb unnecessary antibiotic usage (which saves money and may help fight antibiotic resistance), the Unit sent letters from the country’s chief medical officer to prescription-happy doctors notifying them that 80 percent of their peers prescribed fewer antibiotics than they did.

As a result, the doctors decreased their antibiotic prescriptions by 3.3 percent in a 2016 pilot program – a notable outcome, given England’s goal of decreasing antibiotic prescriptions by 5 percent over five years.

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