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National Symposium on Postsecondary Student Success: Spearheading a Dialog on Student Success


Policymakers, practitioners, and scholars have directed tremendous attention to the goal of improving “student success.” Based on a review of largely discrete existing bodies of literature, this report proposes an overarching framework that policymakers, practitioners, and researchers can use to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and practices for addressing persistent racial/ethnic and socioeconomic gaps in student success. The framework brings order to the wide array of theoretical and methodological approaches that, when considered together, provide a comprehensive understanding of the ways policymakers and practitioners can intervene more effectively to promote student success. The framework was intended to describe avenues and approaches to effective development, implementation, and evaluation of policy related to student success, eschewing the identification of a “single bullet” theory, method, policy, or practice.

After defining student success and explaining our procedures, this report describes the results of a multidisciplinary examination of the theoretical and methodological approaches that researchers have used to inform knowledge and understanding across a range of student success outcomes. Then, the report presents and describes the proposed conceptual model that ties this work together and provides recommended uses of the model for policy, practice, and further research.



Date Posted: 20 November 2015