Student Success is a relative construct and may be defined in a variety of ways.
Previously rooted in traditional metrics, such as grades and completion rates, current descriptions reflect a shift towards holistic measures. This shift allows institutions to move from focusing on reducing failure, towards planning for success.
Goal attainment remains a central theme in student success, but is no longer limited to academic performance, completion of program or program-specific job placement. Goal attainment may refer to a variety of educational, as well as personal goals.
Educational goals include the attainment of course specific outcomes and transferrable intellectual, emotional, social and/or physical skills. While personal goals may reflect a student’s diverse interests, needs, educational paths and milestones.
Modern descriptions of student success expand retention and advancement to include various forms of educational and occupational progression. Progression may be independent of program completion and may include transfer to another institution or experience. Also, subsequent educational or occupational endeavours may differ significantly from the intention of the original program.
Student success is dependent on a learner-focused approach that considers student perspectives, offers flexible experiences, and provides personalized supports. This is closely tied to the student experience where students develop a sense of belonging through participation and integration into the university community. Student experience is central to overcoming personal obstacles, allowing students to realize their unique contributions and find personal meaning or purpose in the university experience.