The problems faced by higher education today are, in many ways, unprecedented. As universities and colleges grapple with how to maintain instruction and operations amid a global health pandemic, the traditional four-year university business model faces fundamental challenges.

Even in the face of dramatic changes to how instruction is delivered to students, defining and measuring student success remains a critical mandate for institutions of higher learning around the country and the world. Today more than ever, universities are increasingly measured by the technological resources they provide to students and how they support those students in using them.

People across the board agree that technology and IT experts are critical–;both to the universities establishing the standards and the students hoping to meet them. This heightened emphasis on student success–;and the need to define and measure it–;offers a prime opportunity for IT professionals to position themselves as strategic partners and critical decision-makers.

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Navigating an Ocean of Student Success Data

Even without a concrete definition of benchmarks for student success, higher education has never been better poised to prioritize and measure it. Today, universities have access to a ready and rapidly flowing stream of data, allowing them to gather metrics on everything from recruitment to retention and academics.

The problem? Navigating through an ocean of information can seem even more daunting than the problems we hope to solve with it. But it has to be done if higher ed hopes to create benchmarks for measuring student success. Lacking that, these programs stand to miss out on some of the most valuable tools available to them and, subsequently, all the benefits and successes that come with them.

IT: A Strategic Partner in Student Success

For university IT professionals, this is a perfect starting point to actively influence and guide student success programs. Whether choosing analytics software or determining the most relevant metrics, those tasked with shaping student success programs need frequent and expert guidance that IT leaders are best poised to provide.

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