Sinclair Community College Higher Education Tech Innovation

Student Success Plan circle graphic

The Student Success Plan encourages engagement and collaboration among students, counselors, advisors, and faculty.


The Innovation: Student Success Plan (SSP)

First-time, degree- or certificate-seeking students can find themselves unprepared or unfamiliar with the higher education experience, putting them at higher risk for academic failure.

The SSP is an open source solution that offers students extra support by helping them to set clear expectations and goals, and to connect them meaningfully to their academic support team of faculty, advisors, and coaches. SSP’s umbrella of technology-enabled tools identifies, monitors, and supports students through integrated planning and advising. Capabilities include preventive measures, early alerts, assertive intervention, holistic counseling techniques, student self-assessment, and web-based software for tracking students and data analytics.

Use It:

—Dr. Robert Johnstone, Founder & President at the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement and former Dean, Skyline College


Results Achieved: SSP’s planning and advising features keep students on track academically. Actively-managed SSP students at Sinclair Community College are:

  • More likely to complete more courses successfully
  • More successful in their first term
  • More likely to return next term
  • Five times more likely to graduate in six years

Long-term Goal: Continue to scale SSP for adoption by hundreds of colleges through new partners and grant opportunities to grow reach and connections. SSP has become an Integrated Planning and Advising Services (IPAS) platform, one of the early systems to emerge as the IPAS concept has begun to take shape.

Sinclair Student Success Plan Student Macro Benefit
Advisor Brian Borchers: The macro benefit of MAP for students
Sinclair Student Success Plan Light at the End of the Tunnel
Advisor Kai Shemsu: MAP helps students see their academic future
Sinclair Student Success Plan Preps Students to Talk About Barriers
Shemsu says students come to advising sessions prepared
Sinclair Student Success Plan Long Term Benefits for Advisors
Borchers values the notes feature of MAP

Partner: Apereo

The Grant Project:

Sinclair Community College received an initial grant from NGLC in April 2011 and follow-on funding in October 2012. 

Sinclair Community College used its NGLC initial funding to scale SSP, releasing it as an open source product and building a replicable implementation model with the support of commercial vendors. Broader exposure led to partnerships; for example, Central Piedmont, a fellow grant recipient, has an ongoing partnership to use the SSP technology platform.

With its follow-on funding, Sinclair enhanced SSP with My Academic Plan (MAP), an online tool to help students stay on track with their studies, and deployed SSP 2.0 (including MAP) at 10 Completion by Design colleges to support student success and completion.

SSP joined with Marist College's Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI), another NGLC grant recipient, to integrate its intervention system with OAAI's predictive processor. Together, they are partnering with Jisc to provide a cloud-based service offering to UK higher education institutions, further expanding their reach.