Over the last few years, we’ve seen a movement in higher education to do a better job supporting student success and graduating students across the socioeconomic spectrum - particularly low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. Here at the UIA we’ve been leading that effort, but change is difficult, especially at large institutions. So, along the way, we’ve picked up an array of insights about what makes change possible in the higher ed environment.
When we talk about how to make higher education more student centric, we talk a lot about innovation. Innovation, however, isn’t synonymous with technology. In fact, a lot of the improvements we test and adopt across the UIA are simple, low tech changes aimed at simplifying the systems students navigate every day.
For low income and first generation students, cost is often a barrier to college, but deeply entrenched cultural elements of the university experience can act as obstacles as well. How are innovative higher ed leaders shaking things up and which new values are they embracing?