The Importance of Student Success in Higher Education

Carissa Gray

December 27, 2022

Higher Education

Student success is hugely important, and many different aspects can be considered when assessing it. Some parts to consider include student diversity, climate, institutional barriers, and financial support.

Academic success

A lot of research has been done on identifying predictors of academic success for students. Academic self-efficacy, or the ability to succeed, is a common predictor. Other factors, such as grit, have also been noted. The study results show that, despite these correlations, there are still significant racial and cultural differences in students’ academic outcomes.

Students of color have been consistently underperforming compared to their White counterparts. This may be due to the lack of equal education opportunities, including access to resources and exclusionary discipline. These challenges have resulted in “education debt” – a term used to describe the difference between student performance and that of their peers.

Financial support

Financial support for student success is an essential aspect of higher education. It helps students take advantage of undergraduate experiences that prepare them for future careers. In addition, it assists institutions with better retention and engagement.

Students often encounter obstacles throughout their college life. Some examples of barriers that students face include running out of financial aid, unmet personal needs, or pressing situations. These difficulties can impact their educational progress and lead to decreased enrollment.

An institution’s ability to provide student support is vital to its ability to enroll and retain mission-appropriate students. The Office for Student Success at Washington University is committed to helping students explore options and meet the costs of being a student.

Higher Education – Inclusive curriculum

If you want to promote student success, consider developing an inclusive curriculum. It’s suitable for the individual student and benefits the community. In an inclusive classroom, teachers work with students to identify their needs. They should invite them to provide input on their syllabus and assessment tasks. This allows all students to show off their talents.

There are many web resources on inclusive curriculum design. These can inform staff on how to incorporate critical issues into their teaching. UCL has launched an Inclusive Curriculum Health Check, which reviews the course content for stereotypes and outright discriminatory practices. It encourages students to question research findings and suggests ways to improve inclusivity.

Higher Education – Climate

A positive school climate can contribute to academic success. It fosters a sense of community and allows students to pursue their interests. School climate is a complex issue, influenced by many factors. Teachers, families, and students’ experiences contribute to a school’s overall environment. Research shows that school environments can make or break student outcomes.

Institutional barriers to student success hinder academic opportunities for students. These factors can impact a student’s academic and social development, whether it is financial pressure, housing problems, or counselor issues. Institutional barriers to student success must be addressed to ensure all students have a positive college experience.

Today’s college students have more diverse backgrounds, personal needs, and complex personal situations. These changes have created a new challenge for higher education institutions. However, these changes take time to happen. They require a cultural shift and a long-term commitment from the campus community.

The National Institute for Student Success (NISS) is dedicated to identifying and removing institutional barriers to student success. NISS also offers guidance on how colleges can create systems of systemic change to improve student success.