Harnessing Technology For Student Success

BGSU was one of three universities selected to receive a Student Success Collaborative (SSC) Award from EAB, a division of The Advisory Board Company. The awards, announced at the collaborative’s annual summit, held Oct. 27- 28 in Washington, D.C., recognize institutions and leaders who create the cultural change necessary to embrace technology and implement innovative ideas that help more students to persist and graduate.

In addition to the award, EAB will donate $1,500 to BGSU’s general scholarship fund.

BGSU, Middle Tennessee State University and Slippery Rock University participate in the Student Success Collaborative – a membership that leverages technology, data and predictive analytics, best practice research and consulting to help colleges and universities improve student outcomes.

Accepting the Visionary Leadership Award on behalf of BGSU was Andy Alt, assistant vice provost for academic affairs. Alt leads the University’s membership in the collaborative, which supplies BGSU’s advisers with a student success analytics platform to identify at-risk and off-path students. The platform also gives advisers the tools they need to act on the data and provide exceptional support to BGSU’s over 14,000 undergraduate students.

In collaboration with other campuswide advising and student success leaders, Alt encourages advisers to leverage the SSC platform and related performance data to reveal insights that contribute to student performance and degree completion. He also partnered with BGSU’s EAB dedicated consultant and a group of academic advisers to create a training and development program designed to equip advising staff to use the technology to further enhance their work with students.

“Membership in the Student Success Collaborative quickly propelled us to use data to pay close attention to the students most in need and those we have the greatest capacity to support,” Alt said. “We’re now approaching a 78 percent retention rate for first-time, full-time students – an increase of nearly two percentage points over last year, after having gained nearly six percentage points the previous year. We now have our sights set on breaking the 80 percent mark.”

"Under Andy Alt's leadership, and with significant help from senior advisers in the colleges, Kim Brooks in Undergraduate Education, and others in ITS, we have been able to create a more data-based student support structure at BGSU,” said Dr. John Fischer, vice provost for academic affairs. “Through the advising tools, and the various analytics, we have faculty and staff working to increase student success, provide outreach to students who can benefit from things such as the Learning Commons, and increase use of the Career Center. Ultimately, the work Andy and others are leading will increase the number of students moving toward graduation and successful achievement of their academic and career goals."

Middle Tennessee State University received the Data-Driven Impact Award for its exemplary service for close to 23,000 students, and Slippery Rock University received the Collaborative Citizenship Award, honoring its commitment to sharing proven practices and innovative ideas with other SSC members. 

Launched in 2007, EAB helps solve the most pressing problems of academic and administrative higher education leaders by drawing on insights from its more than 1,000 members spanning two-year and four-year schools.