Linda D Bloomberg


Student success is increasingly tied to equity-minded policies and practices that ameliorate postsecondary achievement gaps. Educational disruptions over the past few years continue to reshape the education landscape and have continued to illuminate racial and socioeconomic inequities at higher education institutions, deepening the digital divide and diminishing persistence rates. As calls for success for all echo across college and university campuses nationally, many institutions are focused on increasing student completion through improved onboarding, credentialling and degree pathways, and advising, all of which is grounded in student-focused teaching, learning, support, and assessment. Ensuring equitable student success becomes, therefore, a central focus of education at all levels, particularly in terms of uncovering ways to support students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and socioeconomically underserved populations. This endeavor is crucial if we are to address the needs of today’s ever-evolving and increasingly diversified student populations. Transformation is best supported by starting with a universally understood student-centered mission that determines the creation of a student experience with equitable outcomes and educational value. How success is defined impacts policies and practices, and ultimately affects student outcomes. Student success can be defined as a holistic phenomenon that embraces the multiple dimensions of personal development in tandem with the multiple goals of higher education. Identifying the central principles or critical features of learning experiences that are most likely to embrace and implement a comprehensive definition of equitable student success can move higher education closer to realizing its intended outcomes.