Calls for institutional onus in efforts to increase student success, and the increasingly data-centered culture in higher education institutions, make it especially important to understand the roles that administrators, staff, and faculty play. This study explores institutional actors’ roles in supporting student success, particularly in their consumption and application of research knowledge, institutional data, and best-practice to inform institutional efforts. This multi-site case study conducted at three public, research universities; included semi-structured interviews and document analysis to generate emergent themes, and critical discourse analysis to further interrogate those themes. Findings suggest that institutional structure, culture, and politics present explicit and implicit barriers to enhancing student success. Student success efforts are largely predicated on institutional data, with little discussion of research knowledge to guide practice. Additionally, discourses that emerged from interview narratives reveal how institutional actors’ own dispositions and paradigms sometimes impede their student success work. Continuing to understand how institutional actors and factors inform student success efforts helps expand institutions’ capacity to improve student success efforts and subsequent educational outcomes for students.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2016. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: David Weerts. 1 computer file (PDF); xiv, 305 pages.
Organizational Learning for Student Success: Exploring the roles of institutional actors.
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