Defining Student Success

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute At the start of all our Retention 101 workshops, I ask participants how they define student success. I give them a few minutes and make them write it down. Then we share. Over the years, I have collected over a thousand definitions from people. Here are some verbatim (e.g., unedited) samples from recent participants: My … Continue reading Defining Student Success

Learning When to Take a Knee

By Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute When I was a teenager growing up in Winnipeg, I played football and team handball. Those were my two “go to” sports. I was good at both, better at the latter and decent at the former. I wasn’t a big guy, which hurt me a bit in football. I made up with it because … Continue reading Learning When to Take a Knee

Coaching for Student Success

by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute I came across a quick article today on Ohio University’s website titled: Are You a Good Coach–or a Great One? At the start, the article says: “Successful coaches are more than great motivators. They are leaders, mentors, and teachers. They cultivate behaviors in their athletes that drive passion and performance.” I am always intrigued that at … Continue reading Coaching for Student Success

Empowering Students and their “BigFuture”

By Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute/EPI International This week I was pleased to take in The College Board’s unveiling of BigFuture at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. BigFuture is a new, sophisticated, but-surprisingly user-friendly web interface developed by the Board in partnership with the Education Conservancy. There have been many career information systems and college search engines puttering around. Even … Continue reading Empowering Students and their “BigFuture”

How Honest Should we be to College Students?

By Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute/EPI International This week at EPI’s International Conference on Student Success (Retention 2011), I attended a session by Tom Mortenson, Senior Scholar at The Pell Institute and editor of Postsecondary Opportunity. Tom looked at the issue of predicted versus actual persistence and graduation rates at US four-year colleges and universities. Interesting stuff. The data launched us … Continue reading How Honest Should we be to College Students?