Colleges’ Innovation Focused on Student Success

Innovation’s not just a one-time thing for the colleges and universities in the NGLC community. Keeping an eye on these institutions over time, we see that they continue to innovate, win acclaim, and influence their local climates as well, all with a goal of advancing student success.

Here’s a compelling example. The following five community colleges recently received 2014 Innovation of the Year Awards from the League for Innovation in the Community College, an NGLC partner:

  • Central Piedmont Community College was recognized for “The BIG Picture: Experience Student Success,” a program designed to engage the entire college community with the services available to support and increase student success. Their 2011-2012 NGLC  “Building Blocks for College Completion” project, the Online Student Profile Learning System, was designed to target student success through the use of learning analytics and, during the grant period, was scaled to six other colleges; project leader Clint McElroy reflected on lessons learned in this 2013 blog post.
  • Lane Community College received its League recognition for “Academic Progress Standards,” which flags students who are struggling academically and engages them in a four-stage intervention.  Within NGLC, Lane was among recipients of a planning grant for a K-12 breakthrough model school, “Expanding Early College Education in Lane County,” which seeks to reach and support at-risk students, including bringing them to the Lane campus, while they are still in high school.
  • Montgomery County Community College gained the League’s recognition for “QuadForge Undergraduate Research Program,” in which students are immersed in a real-life research and development experience. The program partners with industry and government to provide real-world product deliverables. The campus was also a member of the NGLC/EDUCAUSE Breakthrough Models Incubator’s first cohort in 2013, there designing Project Horseshoe. It utilizes a MOOC format to help students become financially literate. (All of the BMI 2013 projects are described here.)
  • Sinclair Community College received its League award for SCOPE Help Desk, a program that not only helps students, staff, and faculty with their unmet computer technology support needs but also provides authentic, hands-on work experience for students. Sinclair’s work as a “Building Blocks for College Completion” grantee, begun in 2011, is ongoing, since they received significant follow-on funding for additional development of the open-source Student Success Plan (SSP). It’s now being used at a variety of community colleges in and beyond Ohio to increase the success and persistence rates of students by using preventive measures, early alerts, assertive intervention, holistic counseling techniques, student self-assessment, and web-based software for tracking students and data analytics.
  • Gateway Community and Technical College earned the League’s recognition for its Collaborations for Student Success, a dual enrollment program offering guaranteed admission to Northern Kentucky University once a Gateway student completes an AA degree. Gateway is also among the six community colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System which are collaborating to offer the competency-based Direct2Degree program, one of NGLC’s groundbreaking Breakthrough Models for College Completion.

This is a group to watch. This recognition from the League is honorable, but what’s most inspiring is that their dedication to students continues to push them to discover new ways to support student success. What will they do next?

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