Institutional Transformation Stories


Lorain County Community College

Lorain County Community College was unprepared to support students who wanted to earn a degree but didn’t make it to graduation. In 2011, it retained fewer than sixty percent of students and had a three-year graduation rate of 8 percent. LCCC developed a strategy rooted in data on its own students and assisted by a network of other higher education institutions that boosted the college’s three-year graduation rate to 23 percent. Lorain’s impressive gains suggest four key approaches that institutions could follow to jumpstart their own student success efforts.

Georgia State University

As Georgia State University quickly pivoted to online learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many of the support services already in place – like virtual advising and a system for emergency aid – have helped to serve a student body that is 75 percent nonwhite and 60 percent Pell eligible in this new online learning environment.

Lorain County Community College Q&A

Lorain County Community College has dramatically moved the needle on student success in recent years with a plan rooted in data and assisted by a network of other campuses. Lorain’s president, Marcia Ballinger, as well as the college’s provost, Jonathan Dryden, and Marisa Vernon White, Lorain’s vice president of enrollment management and student services, discuss how the college has managed its student success efforts in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian River State College

Over the last decade, Indian River State College has built up its digital infrastructure to ramp up the number of online degrees it offers. Kendall St. Hilaire, assistant dean of Indian River’s virtual campus, and Paul O’Brien, the college’s vice president of institutional technology and chief information officer, discuss how the college’s experience in online education helped the institution manage the pivot to remote learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Estela Bensimon

Dr. Estela Bensimon, founder of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California and one of the nation’s leading scholars on racial equity, reflects on her decade of experience advising institutions and organizations across the nation on racial equity and offers practical advice to higher education leaders and practitioners.

Delaware State University

In 2016, Delaware State University deployed a series of changes to bolster student success, like centralizing advising and making it more proactive and structured. Saundra DeLauder, provost and chief academic officer, and Alexa Silver, a professor and chairperson of the faculty senate, discuss how the university has continued its student success efforts and managed the shift to remote learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.