Student Success Courses

Kuh, George, et al. (2006). What Matters to Student Success: A Review of the Literature. National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.
This literature review conducted on behalf of the National Postsecondary Cooperative takes a broad look at major research in the field of “student success” to identify major conclusions from the research and identify the most promising interventions pre-college and during college.  The review includes a theoretical framework for understanding students’ experience transitioning into college. They define student success as, “academic achievement, engagement in educationally purposeful activities, satisfaction, acquisition of desired knowledge, skills and competencies, persistence, attainment of educational objectives, and post-college performance.”  They identify support for first-year/new student focused programs – such as orientation or first-year seminars, or advising—as effective practice to increase student success, early warning systems to identify struggling students and learning communities.

Moore, Colleen & Shulock, Nancy. (2009). Student Progress Toward Degree Completion: Lessons from the Research Literature. Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy.
This literature review looks at the available research around student progress in postsecondary education and factors that influence student success.  The researchers advocate a focus on intermediate outcomes, rather than simply degree completion.  To increase success for first-year students, they found general support for first-year experience programs, orientation courses, and learning communities.  They also cite research around the importance of gatekeeper courses and academic preparation for students going into college.