A Story of Excellence and Advantage — The Story of Esther Wojcicki

By Watson Scott Swail, President & Senior Research Scholar, Educational Policy Institute Esther Wojcicki is a very bright woman. On Friday, the education expert wrote a piece on TIME magazine titled “I Raised Two CEOs and a Doctor. These Are My Secrets to Parenting Successful Children.” The piece is an excerpt from her upcoming book, “How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results.” In it … Continue reading A Story of Excellence and Advantage — The Story of Esther Wojcicki

Predictive Modeling for Student Success: A Cautionary Tale

Many colleges and universities continue to turn towards predictive modeling to complement their admissions and enrollment processes. A recent report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario found that 36 percent of respondents from Canadian universities and colleges were using predictive modeling as a way to “improving student retention” and 40 percent said they were considering doing so. Respondents said they used the process to inform their strategies for retention, including support services and individual advising. Continue reading Predictive Modeling for Student Success: A Cautionary Tale

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

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