Sticky post

The Demographic Challenge of Higher Education

By Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist, Educational Policy Institute Most postsecondary institutions across the country are experiencing sharp and steady declines in enrollment. This is for two primary reasons: demographic and economic trends. In 2010, the US hit a peak of college-aged students that has since been on a slow decline. The chart below illustrates both the decline and the projected enrollment until … Continue reading The Demographic Challenge of Higher Education

So, You Want to Increase Student Retention?

By Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scientist, Educational Policy Institute We talk with people at campuses across the US about issues related to student retention and success. Over the years, we have worked with thousands of people and hundreds of institutions. Everyone, to the person, wants to see their retention, persistence, and graduation rates increase. Rarely do they succeed. If everyone is so driven … Continue reading So, You Want to Increase Student Retention?

Improving Student Success is Simple. Really.

By Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute Over the years, I’ve written books and articles, blogs like this, and conducted dozens of workshops and conferences sessions on student success. I’ve sat in a bunch, too. And in every one of them, people want to know one thing: how do I improve student success? That’s it. That is the one question people … Continue reading Improving Student Success is Simple. Really.

The Lever Principle for Student Success

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute Colleges and universities use many varied strategies to reduce turnover and retain students. There exist amply ways to do this across the many divisions and departments, including student and academic services, teaching and learning, financial aid, and others, to encourage student success. I find that most of the institutions that I work with are cognizant … Continue reading The Lever Principle for Student Success

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