California State University, Sacramento Sacramento State Leader

Student success: Data, analytics boost academic progress

Teacher Sacramento State is making good on its “Finish in Four” commitment to raising graduation rates – but the benefits of the University’s student success initiatives do not stop there.

A scientific approach using analytics and other tools is creating a “significant cultural shift” credited with enhancing the University’s overall learning environment, according to “graduation czar” Jim Dragna. Students and educators are joining in an ever-closer partnership aimed at turning those students into successful professionals.

“The University is becoming much more scientific in terms of what it’s offering and getting that information to instructors,” Dragna says. For example, real-time data collection enables faculty to act immediately to help students at risk of falling behind, even during the first couple of weeks of the academic term. And the University can analyze which “prescriptions” for improvement work best, and for whom.

As the use of “big data” becomes more prevalent, Dragna says, students are reaping the benefits.
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