Recently, there has been considerable discussion about the need for professional colleges and universities to better assess learning outcomes and student success. What we have learned, however, is that before measuring student outcomes, institutions must first consider the risk factors that affect their students and how those factors will impact educational outcomes. This presents both unique challenges and opportunities for career colleges, who enroll more at-risk students than their traditional counterparts and face higher drop-out rates as a result.

With this in mind, how can professional colleges and universities best identify at-risk students, in order to help them overcome these potential challenges? In our recent white paper entitled “Stop the Drop: How Professional Colleges and Universities Can Use Learning Management Systems to Identify and Engage At-Risk Students,” we discuss the ways schools can leverage tools contained in learning management systems to engage and monitor at-risk students. In other words, career colleges and professional universities can pull the information they already have about students from their LMS to help identify those who might be at risk. Since demographic and past-performance clues are already in learning management system and admissions data, schools simply need to employ the right analytical tools to turn these clues into actionable information.

The immediate benefits of schools that leverage LMS data in this way include:

  • Allowing schools to know which students are most at risk today so instructors can provide one-on-one attention to those students from the start.
  • Providing longer term, analytical information that can help schools create environments where students have the best chance for success. By knowing what kinds of characteristics are shared by students who have succeeded in the past, a school can identify which applicants are most likely to do well at its institution.
  • Giving schools predictive data on the entire student experience, from which classes will need student support counselors on standby to which graduates are most likely to remain involved as alumni.

Are you ready to start leveraging your LMS to boost student success and lower the drop-out rate at your professional college or university? Check out “Stop the Drop: How Professional Colleges and Universities Can Use Learning Management Systems to Identify and Engage At-Risk Students for further information, including the ways Blackboard already helps professional colleges and universities!


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