The new Student Success Data Analytics and Strategic Initiatives unit in the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education office is here to help you.

by Renata Opoczynski, assistant dean for student success assessment and strategic initiatives 

Have you ever had a student success issue you didn’t know how to tackle or didn’t have enough time to devote to analyzing? For instance: How do we best support transfer students? How do we ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in our secondary admission program? What are some best practices around Black student success? How do we make it easier for students to transfer between majors? These student success questions are things we all struggle with but we often don’t have the ability to solve on our own or don’t have the resources needed to put in the thorough work to analyze. 

Well now there is a unit on campus to help!  The new Student Success Data Analytics and Strategic Initiatives unit in the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education office is here to help you think through all your student success questions and provide resources to help you come up with solutions or interventions to ensure that all students can learn, thrive, and graduate.  Our unit’s mission is to solve complex student success challenges in order to transform undergraduate education at Michigan State University. Wondering what we can do for you?  We utilize organizational change management, strategic doing, and project management principles to help you think through the situation, identify what can be done, and work with you to move an initiative forward. Specifically, we can:


1) Provide consultation

Are you aware of a barrier, policy, procedure, etc. that is impacting student success? Schedule a consultation to think through the barrier, identify needs and resources to move through the barrier, and/or begin to make a project plan. In many cases, this will be the initial step to those outlined below.

 

2) Discuss a new project or initiative

Do you need someone to talk with about a potential new student success initiative or project? Have a great idea, but don’t know how to get it started on campus? Schedule a consultation to discuss the goals and objectives of your project, how it aligns with your unit’s/APUE’s strategic plan, exploring resources (people, materials) required, conducting a network analysis, and/or identifying the boundaries or scope. In many cases, this will be the initial step to those outlined below.

 

3) Create a project framework and project charter

Ready to move forward with a project or initiative? Our team will collaborate with you to map out the need for the project, what will be achieved, the value it brings, success criteria, and activities associated with the project that make it strategic to student success at MSU. Our team’s project manager can participate in the development and review of a project charter, identify high level risks, resources, and milestones, and provide timely communication for stakeholders and the sponsor(s) of the project. 

 

4) Literature Reviews and Benchmarking

Need assistance gathering existing knowledge and best practices around a student success initiative, project, or topic? Our team will conduct a thorough review of scholarly sources relevant to the theme or project and benchmark best practices at other institutions of higher education. As part of this service, our team will provide a written summary and analysis of the literature and best practices, which includes identifying gaps in knowledge and further areas to explore. 

 

5) Process Mapping

Want to better understand the limitations or barriers in your current workflow, particularly in areas that impact student retention, learning, and success? Our team will assist in defining the scope of the process, engaging stakeholders, facilitating group brainstorming sessions, and building consensus towards a process map and plans for next steps. 

Interested in learning more?  Reach out to us by contact Renata at opoczyns@msu.edu