Student success initiatives can help students climb steps toward graduation.

Do student success initiatives actually help?

New research reveals the rate at which student success initiatives benefit students, particularly minority groups

Student success initiatives may not have as much impact as intended–a new study shows that just 60 percent of student success initiatives have a positive impact on student persistence, with 40 percent having either no impact or a negative impact.

An analysis of about 1,000 student success initiatives at more than 55 colleges and universities, conducted by Civitas Learning, notes that while institutions invest millions into helping improve student outcomes, they rarely have rigorous measurements of what, if anything, actually drives improvements.

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“Today, however, many student services are based on confidence in an existing program or the implementation of a standard best practice, rather than the data-informed personalization of student experience,” according to the report. “Not surprisingly, this results in only 60 percent of student interventions demonstrating a measurable positive impact on student success overall.”

Insight gleaned from the report is intended to help higher-ed leaders close that measurement gap and pinpoint what does and doesn’t work when it comes to building student success initiatives that truly benefit students.

Laura Ascione