Promoting student success: What student affairs can do

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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research


Interest in creating the conditions that enhance student learning and support students in achieving their educational goals is at an all-time high. Four-fifths of high school graduates need some form of postsecondary education to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to address increasingly complex social, economic, and political issues. Student engagement--what students do during college--generally matters more to what they learn and whether they persist to graduation than who they are or even where they go to college. The contribution of out-of-class experiences to student engagement cannot be overstated. Any institution that wishes to make student achievement, satisfaction, persistence, and learning a priority must have competent student affairs professionals whose contributions complement the academic mission of the institution in ways that help students and the institution realize their goals. The "lessons" for student affairs practice offered here are based on an in-depth examination of 20 four-year colleges and universities that have higher-than-predicted graduation rates and, as demonstrated through the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), effective policies and practices for engaging their students.



Deep learning, Student affairs



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