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Higher Ed Advisor: innovative support services boost student outcomes and fiscal resiliency

“This is an outstanding time to be creative and innovative in terms of what student support looks like and how we can be partners with students in helping them reach success.” – Paul Shepherd, Director for Student Development and Success, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System

Welcome to Higher Ed Advisor, the Baker Tilly podcast series where we speak with higher education industry leaders about practical and proactive guidance to help colleges and universities protect and enhance their value.

This podcast is the 14th episode in our fiscal resiliency series for higher education institutions.

How do colleges and universities meet the unique needs of a diverse student body and strive for fiscal resiliency and agility at the same time? It starts with building meaningful relationships with “today’s student,” explain Katie Aranda, Iowa Wesleyan University’s (IWU) Associate Dean of Student Success Initiatives and Paul Shepherd, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ (Minnesota State) Director for Student Development and Success. Paul and Katie join this fiscal resiliency episode to conceptualize what it really means to be “student-ready.” We dive into innovative ways institutions are becoming student-ready as they redesign and connect their student support models to give today’s students (many of whom are first-generation undergraduates or adult-learners) access to critical services and resources when and where they need them most.

Learn about the creative strategies that have helped IWU and Minnesota State meet students’ changing needs, including:

  • Leveraging technology and clearing pathways for students to better utilize and access existing resources
  • Using data to understand and drive decisions that address barriers students face
  • Forming student success centers that serve as a hub to provide students with resources, make connections and experience a sense of belonging on campus and in the community
  • Cultivating and individualizing relationships with students through success coaches who help students navigate their academic, career and personal development
  • Developing a student-ready culture that focuses on relationships and meeting students where they are in their higher education journey

Also, listen for the top reason why students are unable to complete their degrees and approaches to strengthen student persistence now to ease the pathway to completion tomorrow.

Interested in more insight on achieving institutional resiliency and student success?

Meet this episode’s guest speakers:

  • Katie Aranda, Associate Dean of Student Success Initiatives, Iowa Wesleyan University
  • Paul Shepherd, Director for Student Development and Success, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System

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