• Description

Many community colleges are working to integrate student support services (such as academic advising, education and career planning, and academic tutoring) more closely with instruction, with an eye toward expanding student use of support systems and creating a more seamless and engaging learning experience for all students.

These efforts seek to ensure that support services become a more integral part of students' ongoing experiences in courses and in other aspects of college life, rather than an option that students have to seek out actively.

By providing support to all students, this reform strategy is being viewed as a way to increase student success in courses and contribute to improved students' college completion overall (achieving certificates, degrees, and transfer).

This report, produced by Completion by Design at WestEd, explores how the integration of student supports and academics fit within an overall strategy to raise completion rates, and covers:

  • Embedding support
  • Offering Integrated Student Success Centers
  • Coordinating first-year experiences
  • Using technology to connect student supports and academics
  • Engaging instruction and support services staff
  • Data use
  • Cost
  • Policy issues

Note: This is the third report in the Game Changers series, designed for use by colleges to generate discussion about innovative models for increasing completion rates substantially. Each topic is addressed through five sections—an overview, examples in practice, implementation challenges, sample engagement questions, and references. The sections are intended to be used separately or as a whole, depending on the audience and needs.

Other reports in the Game Changers series include:

  • Acceleration in Developmental Education
  • Providing Structured Pathways to Guide Students Toward Completion