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

Institutional Change and Student Success Planning

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute The challenge that many people have in improving student retention on campus is where and how to start. We have learned over many years that small, independent efforts on campus fail to move the needle, so to speak, on institutional retention, persistence, and graduation rates. They can help with very small pockets of students, but … Continue reading Institutional Change and Student Success Planning

Gaining Faculty Buy-In for Student Retention & Success

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute Improving student persistence on campus is a primary objective for college and universities. What we clearly understand is that some students have more challenges than others with regard to degree completion, therefore, require more services and attention by faculty and staff. What we’ve learned over the years is that it truly does take a … Continue reading Gaining Faculty Buy-In for Student Retention & Success

Improving College Access and Success

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute There is much talk about increasing college access and success for students in the United States, especially for those populations who are historically underrepresented in higher education, such as low-income, first generation, and minority students. While access rates have increased over the years, we clearly understand that equity has not been achieved and that … Continue reading Improving College Access and Success

In Need of Institutional Grit

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute To listen to today’s Swail Letter on your device, click on the podcast icon below. Last week I wrote about the issues of college admissions, selectivity, and grit. I can’t seem to read anything lately without hearing more about grit. As mentioned, grit is a term coined, to a degree, by Angela Duckworth in … Continue reading In Need of Institutional Grit