The Nonacademic Side of Student Success
Lastly, institutions can create a more positive student experience by providing support for enrolled students outside of academics. Supporting student success is about more than just offering tutoring and financial aid. Students often struggle to fit into the school community and balance work, family, or other obligations with their academic responsibilities.
Many universities are putting nonacademic support programs in place to address these issues. For example, a number of state institutions in Indiana have joined forces on a professional coaching program tailored to first-generation and low-income students. Meanwhile, Arizona State University’s coaching program is focused on working adults enrolled in ASU Online.
These types of programs also raise flags regarding other student-related issues — like account holds or critical financial information — that could otherwise go unnoticed and hinder students’ educational experiences. Increasing awareness of potential obstacles helps administrators work directly with individual students to mitigate risks and support their progress.
Setting up a strong network of mentors is another way of empowering students to proactively identify problems while there’s still time to solve them.
Overall, higher education presents many challenges for students beyond just making the grade, and only the institutions that help students overcome personal obstacles will truly fulfill their purpose.
About the Author: Pete Wheelan, CEO of InsideTrack, has dedicated his career to leading mission-driven, high-growth companies focused on helping individuals live up to their full potential. Before joining InsideTrack, he served as chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at Blurb, a groundbreaking leader in unleashing creative expression through self-published books.