Developmental education seeks to ensure the academic success of various college student cohorts but specifically focuses on the needs of students who are underprepared to succeed at the college level. As a major goal of any institution’s developmental education program is to facilitate student success, colleges need to have in place a strategic plan that provides support and guidance to students in an effort to enhance their chances for academic achievement. Such “student success plans” must provide students – especially underprepared ones – with educational opportunities and develop their skills in very specific ways.
However, research shows that many developmental education courses actually underserve academically underprepared students, and traditionally developed curriculums that typically award no college credit cost students time and money but show dismal persistence rates. What’s a college to do when it comes to designing an effective program to serve its underprepared students?
Elements of Efficient Student Success Programs
Efficient student success programs help students in achieving their educational and professional goals but don’t add a lot of costs for the educational institution that’s seeking to serve them. Though various models and structures exist in the way colleges and universities deal with the needs of the underprepared students, they all have the same underlying principles.
An efficient student success program:
- Is student-centered
- Assesses student needs carefully
- Is strongly supported throughout the institution
- Targets specific skill development
- Involves multiple faculty members
- Takes into account changes in student demographics and needs
- Provides a more hands-on approach to academic intervention
Strategies for Innovative and Engaging Student Success Programs
Implementing and promoting a student success plan requires that its policies be implemented institution-wide. Universities and educational institutions can create an effective student success plan by implementing practices such as:
- Pre-College Counseling: Students must be counseled about choosing their educational and career goals while they are still in high school. This will help them make a more informed choice for the programs and courses they take in college.
- Student Engagement: One of the most important factors that determines student success in higher education is the extent to which students are engaged with their university or college. Devote resources to ensuring programs designed to develop student engagement.
- Academic and Career Guidance: Identifying academic and career goals can be a tough task for students. They must be guided when choosing the programs and courses relevant to meeting the requirements of their educational and career goals.
- Professional Development: Staff and faculty members on campus who are responsible for student success as a part of their job descriptions must be provided with professional development training so that they are able to understand and address student needs.
- Knowledge About Available Financial Help: Financial stability also plays a major role in student success. A financially capable student is in a better position to stay in college and achieve his or her long-term goals. Students must be educated about the services available that could help them establish healthy financial behaviors.
Start Planning for the Success of Your Students Now
Join Eli Education’s webinar “Innovation and Engagement: Creating and Adapting Programs for Student Success” to hear student assessment expert Kent Seaver examine the newest alternatives to traditional developmental education programs, including successful examples and practical information. By looking at engagement and adaptation as it relates to higher education programs, staff, and curriculum, Kent provides new methods for academic advisers, administrators and faculty to help this population of students succeed.