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Case Study: NLU Data, Team Helps Students Make Breakthroughs Coaches, instructors team up to monitor data for early stumbles, reach out to help students

As a National Louis University team of instructors and success coaches met for its weekly review of students’ data, they noticed that the A and B grades of one sophomore in the Pathways at NLU program had begun to drop. After conferring quickly around the table, they decided this student’s coach should reach out to the student.

The coach discovered that the student did not have a stable home and was also struggling with having a dependable job and income. Many Pathways students come from under-resourced families in underserved Chicago-area neighborhoods, so they face realities such as having to work full-time, pay rent and care for family members.  In this case, the coach worked with the student to find stable housing and employment. Without such intervention, the student would likely have dropped out of higher education.

This anecdote appears in the newly-released Case Study of Pathways at NLU, an explainer on how the Pathways team uses thoughtful data techniques, human mentoring and other strategies to help disadvantaged students enter and persist in college and graduate with four-year degrees. The team continuously refines these methods in order to improve outcomes and share the most effective techniques with other educators.

The case study highlights Pathways’ ultimate goal of educating students who might not otherwise have gone to college and preparing them for fulfilling careers and economic mobility. In the 2017-18 class of Pathways’ students, for example, 82 percent were eligible for Pell grants, 82 percent were the first generation in their families to attend college, were 94 percent underrepresented minorities and had an average high school GPA of 2.7.

Now in its fourth year, the program is succeeding on measures of growth, academic progress and retention. Enrollment has grown from the original 85 students to more than 1,000. In terms of academic performance, the number of “on track to graduate” students has grown from 60 percent for the first cohort to 76 percent for the 2017-18 cohort. The retention rate between years one and two for the first two cohorts was 70 percent, outperforming the 53 percent persistence rate for Chicago Public Schools students with similar academic profiles at other higher education institutions.

Many factors contribute to helping Pathways at NLU and its students succeed. These include an affordable $10,000 tuition rate, which is covered by grants for many students, personalized learning technology and two-day-a-week blended class schedules.

However, Pathways’ two most important weapons against failure have become people, in the form of student success coaches and instructors, and data, or more specifically, smart ways of using data to gain insights into how students are doing.

The case study explains how NLU’s Pathways team uses data to track students’ progress weekly, to help give instructors a big-picture view of how students are doing so they can adjust coursework if necessary, and identify trends or challenges in the courses and course sequences so that the team can make improvements.

Some of Pathways’ most notable successes have taken place when coaches and instructors gather weekly to go over student data, notice something that stands out, confer among themselves and then reach out to a student to offer supportive assistance. As in the story at the beginning of this post, sometimes this outreach makes the difference between a student continuing in college or dropping out.

These small successes are usually unheralded, but they are deserving of fanfare. They are the places where the “rubber” of life challenges meets the “road” of academic work, and a university prepared to help students navigate this juncture is better able to see them through to graduation. While National Louis University’s team members continue to refine methods and strategies, they are gratified at the successes so far and willing to share and expand their findings with educators, researchers, funders and others interested in closing the opportunity gap for students who face an uphill climb toward their college diplomas.

View the case study here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Center Launches; Earn a Degree One Saturday Per Month Students can earn Master's or Ed.D.; in-person classes supplemented by online learning

National Louis University Lisle campus.

Earn a master’s or Ed.D. degree by attending class one Saturday per month at the Weekend Center at NLU. The monthly Saturday classes are supplemented by online learning between sessions.

You’re busy. You have to go to work, take care of your family and keep your household running. Still, you want to earn an advanced degree to boost your career, advance to a fulfilling position and improve your family’s situation for the long haul.

National Louis University has created a solution: the Weekend Center at NLU. By devoting just one Saturday a month to attending a class and completing the balance of coursework online, students  can earn one of the following master’s or doctoral degrees: Continue reading »

National Louis Wins 2018 Eduventures Innovation Award NLU shows 'true thought leadership,' Eduventures leader said

A jury of higher education leaders and advisors selected National Louis University as a winner of the 2018 Eduventures Innovation Award. NLU’s Aarti Dhupelia, vice president for strategic initiatives, and Stephanie Poczos, associate dean of general education and Pathways, accepted the award in Boston at the Eduventures Summit June 14. Eduventures is a research and advisory firm focused on higher education. Continue reading »

Braven At NLU Prepares Students To Get Degree-Worthy Jobs Program Gets Sophomores Thinking Seriously About Careers

On a recent Wednesday evening, seven students in a National Louis University classroom were scanning resumes of job candidates posted on the whiteboard. The students, all from the Pathways at NLU program, scribbled the positives and negatives of each candidate on sticky notes. Two adult volunteers, both working professionals, guided them through an exercise in which the students had to act as hiring managers, deciding which of the fictitious job candidates to contact for an interview. Continue reading »

NLU Offers A Google Certified Educator Course Will help teacher candidates boost their resumes, apply techniques when they student teach

 

Knowing the latest education technology (edtech) can help future teachers better manage their classrooms when they start student teaching. It also makes their resumes stand out to potential employers.

That’s why National Louis University’s National College of Education is offering a Google Certified Educator professional development course this winter and spring. Pre-service teacher prep candidates are flocking to sign up for the course, which will prepare them to incorporate the “G Suite,” a range of Google apps formerly called Google Apps for Education, into their student teaching field placements. Continue reading »

NLU’s Dhupelia Named to Top 30 By Center for Digital Education She leads the Pathways program, which uses personalized technology

Aarti Dhupelia, National Louis University’s vice president for strategic initiatives, was named to the Center for Digital Education’s Top 30.

The Center for Digital Education, a national research institute specializing in education technology trends, has named National Louis University’s Aarti Dhupelia to its Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers across America.

Dhupelia, vice president for strategic initiatives, won because NLU’s Pathways program, which she oversees, uses adaptive courseware and extensive data collection and analysis to support learners through the program. Continue reading »

NLU’s McCormick Center Launches Tool to Compare States on Early Childhood Standards See which states rank best

As states around the nation try to boost the quality of early childhood education so that that young children (birth through age 8) have the greatest chance to be successful in school and in life, the McCormick Center at National Louis University has just created a tool for measuring states’ efforts.

The McCormick Center developed the tool, called the  Leadership Education for Administrators and Directors (L.E.A.D.) Early Childhood™ Clearinghouse, as a source for information about early childhood program leaders. It is part of the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Collaborative, which was launched in 2016 to identify and close the gap in  preparation for early childhood program leaders. Continue reading »

NLU Introduces Pathways Program on National Higher Ed Platform; Other Universities Can Replicate Dhupelia explained Pathways program; aimed at students who might not otherwise attend college

Aarti Dhupelia, shown here speaking to National Louis University’s Harrison Professional Pathways students, told the higher education community about the program on a national Academic Impressions webinar.

Less than two years after National Louis University developed the innovative Harrison Professional Pathways program, it received national attention.

Aarti Dhupelia, NLU’s vice president for strategic initiatives, explained the program’s goals and design to representatives from other universities on a webinar produced by Academic Impressions, which provides professional development resources to colleges and universities nationwide. Continue reading »

To Meet Employment Demand, NLU Launches Applied Behavior Analysis Program Will prepare behavior analysts to help people on autism spectrum and with other conditions

Jennifer Klapatch Totsch, Ph.D., has joined NLU as director of the Applied Behavior Analysis program.

Have you considered a rewarding career working with children on the autism spectrum and people with various other conditions which can be helped with applied behavior analysis?

National Louis University is launching Master of Science (M.S.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to meet growing employment demand for credentialed behavior analysts. Students may enroll now for the program’s Fall 2017 start.  Continue reading »

Help Students Learn EdTech; Get Learning Technologies Credential This Summer You can choose from face-to-face or online courses for this four-course credential

If you’re an educator or technology coach eager to become highly proficient in using up-to-the- minute technologies to help your students learn, this is for you.

This summer, National Louis University is offering the Learning Technologies Credential, which is designed for educators and technology coaches who want to build their capacity, teaching strategies, and teaching resources through hands-on experiences with cutting-edge learning technologies. Continue reading »