Getting Started: 6 Steps to Align and Focus Your Student Success Goals

Often when an institution looks to expand technology to support student success initiatives on campus, they dive straight into the tool, but don’t spend enough time thinking about the goals they want to accomplish with that tool.

An institution's overall goal should be to foster a culture of student success on campus, which can be a lofty task. So, how can we break down the steps to elevate student success within the institution? Starfish by Hobsons’ latest webinar, “6 Steps to Align and Focus Your Student Success Goals,” explores the steps student success professionals should take on their campus in order to best achieve their institutional goals.

Get started by checking out the first three steps below.

  1. Get Clear and Specific on Goals: In order to truly create change, start by looking at your existing institutional strategic plans. What elements of those plans relate to student success? While they might not explicitly mention student success initiatives, they are likely connected. Use those elements to build out a student success plan with specific, smaller and more obtainable goals and objectives. Use our Starfish Student Success Plan Template to help build out your plan.

    Download the template
  2. Design Initiatives to Provide Focus: Student success analytics can help you determine what gaps or challenges your institution is currently facing. Use that data to find smaller student populations that might not be achieving at the same level as others. Once you have determined the areas you want to improve, get creative about how to do that! Check out other organizations like NACADA or Achieving the Dream to gather ideas and best practices to tackle your unique challenges. Finally, realize that you can’t do it all at once. Your time will best be used by focusing on smaller, realistic challenges and moving the needle one point at a time. Specific initiatives might include increasing first-year retention of first generation students by requiring monthly meetings between those students and their advisors, for example.
  3. Be Intentional with Interventions: The goals and initiatives you have created in steps 1 and 2 will need ways to be implemented and supported. Most likely, the interventions to support the initiatives are already in place or simply need to be enhanced. You should have an inventory of all interventions offered by the institution in order to best deploy the right interventions, to the right people, at the right time. Then measure to see what works and apply more resources if warranted.

Access the full webinar here to learn the final 3 steps you should follow to best align your institution's strategic plan to smaller, more obtainable student success goals.

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