Breakthrough Models Incubator: Cohort 1 Projects

The first cohort of the Breakthrough Models Incubator produced innovative ideas from a variety of institutions across the country. Below are descriptions of each team project.

Austin Peay State University: Using Predictive Analytics to Drive Student Advising

Knowing that students who adhere to a selected major are more likely to continue studies – and ultimately, to graduate – Austin Peay’s Incubator project expands its use of the existing MyFuture tool to support students in thoughtfully choosing a major that will be a good fit. Using predictive analytics, APSU can empower students with information to guide their choice of majors to align with their academic strengths.

Ball State University: Improving Retention and Completion with Game-Styled App

Ball State University’s Incubator team designed a game-based application to encourage behaviors strongly correlated to retention and completion. Inspired by Weight Watchers, the BSU Achievements application tracks student engagement in activities shown to enhance success, and rewards them for proactive, positive behaviors.

Charter Oak State College: Helping Returning Adult Students Get Credit for Prior Experience

Charter Oak State College’s Incubator team designed a web-based assessment tool to help returning-adult students determine whether their prior life experience qualifies them for college credits upon enrollment. Charter Oak believes that earning credit at enrollment will encourage more prospective students to matriculate, retain and complete.

Empire State College – SUNY: Competency-Based IT Bachelors Degree

Empire State College’s Incubator project creates a new competency-based bachelor’s degree for IT professionals. Targeting IT professionals who possess at least three years of IT experience but have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree, Empire State’s project puts a degree within reach of working professionals ready to advance. 

William Rainey Harper Community College: Analytics Driven, Faculty Led First Year Experience to Develop Personalized Learning Plans

Harper College’s Project Discover created a common, faculty-led experience at entry for students from four previously separate initiatives. Through this common experience all degree-seeking students will create a personalized education plan and be supported by analytics-enhanced counseling. Project Discover’s goal is to increase retention and completion and will begin implementation with the class of 2014. Project Discover Overview and Outcomes.

Montgomery County Community College: Helping Students Avoid Finance-Related Dropouts

MC3’s Project Horseshoe created a MOOC to deliver engaging, easy-to-understand modules on financial literacy and made them available through an online learning platform to help students think through, plan and meet the challenges of paying for college without interrupting their studies. Project Horseshoe’s goal is to increase student retention and completion by preventing poor financial planning from interrupting academic progress. Planning to add modules on digital and civic literacy as well.

University of Maryland – University College: Giving Students a Jumpstart to Graduation with Personalized Pathway Planning

University of Maryland – University College’s Incubator Team created Project Jumpstart, a four-week onboarding course that provides credit, as well as an opportunity for reflection and the creation of a personalized pathway to graduation, aligning academic and career goals for incoming students. With their pathway plan and a credit at the end of one month, the possibility of continuing to a fully enrolled semester will increase, starting a cascade of positive effects associated with better retention and completion rates.