Designing an Early Student Success System

The QEP working group recommends the design and implmentation of an Early Student Success System (rather than Early Alert System) to address equity-based retention gaps and overall student retention at JMU. This recommendation is based on the research that the working group conducted over the 2021-2022 academic year. Our research examined institutional data, conducted focus groups at JMU, consulted leaders at peer institutions, and reviewed the literature on equitable student success and retention, early alert systems, and the use of data analytics in higher education. 

The foundation, framework, and values we have and continue to use moving forward are:

  • Evidence-informed (using research, data, stories to inform our design & implementation)
  • Empowerment framework (empowering students as active agents; asset-based)
  • Instilling Culture Change (technologies are necessary, but not sufficient; is institution ready for students?)
  • AIRR framework for responsible innovation (Anticipation, Inclusion, Reflexivity, Responsiveness).
  • Data ethics, transparency, and communication
  • Incoming Student Skills & Attitudes Questionnaire (ISSAQ non-cognitivie student survey)
  • Check-in survey
  • Rethinking mid-term grades. 

These four pillars are critical to designing and implementing an early student success system that aligns with our framework and values while manages the uncertainity of the CRM rollout over the upcoming years. 

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