Skip to main content

Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter, (Includes New Preface and Epilogue)



Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter, (Includes New Preface and Epilogue)

George D. Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, John H. Schuh, Elizabeth J. Whitt

ISBN: 978-1-118-04685-2 January 2011 Jossey-Bass 416 Pages


Student Success in College describes policies, programs, and practices that a diverse set of institutions have used to enhance student achievement. This book clearly shows the benefits of student learning and educational effectiveness that can be realized when these conditions are present. Based on the Documenting Effective Educational Practice (DEEP) project from the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University, this book provides concrete examples from twenty institutions that other colleges and universities can learn from and adapt to help create a success-oriented campus culture and learning environment.

Preface ix


1. Student Engagement: A Key to Student Success 7

Why Effective Educational Practice Matters 8

Documenting Effective Educational Practice (DEEP) 10

Keep in Mind 18

No Single Blueprint for Student Success 20


2. ‘‘Living’’ Mission and ‘‘Lived’’ Educational Philosophy 25

Mission 25

Operating Philosophy 27

Meet the DEEP Schools 28

Making Space for Difference 59

Mission Clarity: ‘‘Tell Me Again—What Are We About?’’ 59

Summary 61

What’s Noteworthy about a Living Mission and Lived Educational Philosophy 62

3. An Unshakeable Focus on Student Learning 65

Valuing Undergraduates and Their Learning 66

Experimenting with Engaging Pedagogies 69

Demonstrating a Cool Passion for Talent Development 77

Making Time for Students 80

Feedback: Improving Performance, Connecting Students and

Faculty 84

Summary 88

What’s Noteworthy about Focusing on Student Learning 88

4. Environments Adapted for Educational Enrichment 91

Using the Setting for Teaching and Learning 93

Creating Human-Scale Learning Environments 106

What’s Noteworthy about Adapting Environments for Educational Advantage 108

5. Clear Pathways to Student Success 109

Acculturation 111

What New Students Need to Know 113

Affirming Diversity 116

Alignment 123

What’s Noteworthy about Creating Clear Pathways to Student Success 131

6. An Improvement-Oriented Ethos 133

Realizing the Vision: The University of Texas at El Paso 134

Making Student Success a Priority: Fayetteville State University 136

Investing in Undergraduate Education: The University of Michigan 138

Fostering Institutional Renewal: University of Maine at Farmington 140

Championing Learning Communities: Wofford College 142

Creating a Campuswide Intellectual Community: Ursinus College 145

Positive Restlessness 146

Curriculum Development 150

Data-Informed Decision Making 152

Summary 155

What’s Noteworthy About Innovating and Improving 156

7. Shared Responsibility for Educational Quality and Student Success 157

Leadership 158

Faculty and Staff Diversity 163

Student Affairs: A Key Partner in Promoting Student Success 164

Fostering Student Agency 167

The Power of One 170

What’s Noteworthy about Sharing Responsibility for Educational Quality 171


8. Academic Challenge 177

High Expectations for Student Performance 178

Extensive Writing, Reading, and Class Preparation 182

Rigorous Culminating Experience for Seniors 188

Celebrations of Scholarship 190

Summary 191

9. Active and Collaborative Learning 193

Learning to Learn Actively 194

Learning from Peers 195

Learning in Communities 198

Serving and Learning in the Local Community 200

Responding to Diverse Learning Styles 204

Summary 206

10. Student-Faculty Interaction 207

Accessible and Responsive Faculty 208

Academic Advising 213

Undergraduate Research 214

Electronic Technologies 216

Summary 217

11. Enriching Educational Experiences 219

Infusion of Diversity Experiences 220

International and Study Abroad 226

Electronic Technologies 230

Civic Engagement 233

Internships and Experiential Learning 236

Cocurricular Leadership 238

Summary 239

12. Supportive Campus Environment 241

Transition Programs 242

Advising Networks 245

Peer Support 248

Multiple Safety Nets 251

Special Support Programs 252

Residential Environments 257

Summary 260


13. Principles for Promoting Student Success 265

Tried and True 266

Sleepers 275

Fresh Ideas 284

Perennial Challenges 287

Summary 294

14. Recommendations 295

Organizing for Student Success 297

Conclusion 316

Epilogue 319

Advancing the Student Success Agenda 322

Drifting Off Course 330

Sustaining Effective Educational Practice 334

Campus Culture and Sustaining High Performance 341

Final Word 342

References 345

Appendices 353

Appendix A: Research Methods 353

Appendix B: Project DEEP Research Team 363

Appendix C: National Survey of Student Engagement 373

Index 375