Transforming System-wide Practices to Improve Student Persistence

Community colleges across the country are facing the challenge of how to increase student persistence. To tackle this issue, an East Coast community college system embarked on an ambitious plan to transform student services and experiences in their colleges. Funded by a Jobs for the Future grant, the system created the Student Success Center (SSC), designed to conduct five primary functions: a) convene and engaging administrators across the system to share best practices and lessons learned, b) improve student success strategies alignment and coherence across the system, c) improve data usage to guide priorities and initiatives regarding student success, d) disseminate research related to student success, and e) advocate for policy development at the state level regarding student persistence.

Hezel Associates was hired to assess the quality of implementation and impact of the SSC. Through a mixed-methods approach, our team was able to guide the SSC in their implementation, and identify not only ways to improve their efforts, but considerations for expansion and sustainability post funding.