Increasing Student Success: A Developmental Approach

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"Just as spring brings the promise of new life, the new year brings hope for a new beginning. It provides an opportunity to identify aspects of the previous year that brought joy and fulfillment, pinpoint unmet goals, and consider how you might do better moving forward. A new academic term offers a similar opportunity for continuous growth and fulfillment. After four decades of such reflection, I am keenly aware that understanding effective teaching strategies, the students I serve, and how learning works requires my constant attention. As the director of a Center for Teaching and Learning, I have a window into how many faculty think about teaching, learning, and preparing for a new course/term. If you are like most of those with whom I work, you spend hours identifying the desired learning outcomes, essential understandings and skills, and appropriate materials. This then leads to countless hours of designing assessments and learning experiences. This is critical work. Increasing student success requires tight alignment across course learning outcomes, assessments, and planned learning experiences, but why, after all the hours spent planning for student success, do large numbers of students still struggle in college? When it comes to increasing rates of student achievement, satisfaction, and graduation, what really makes the difference?"


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