ACE’s New Learner Success Lab Now Accepting Applications
April 20, 2020

Modeled after the longstanding and highly-successful ACE Internationalization Lab, the Learner Success Lab (LSL) will guide institutions through a strategic planning process designed to improve completion, career exploration, and workforce readiness, particularly among traditionally underrepresented learners.

ACE is accepting applications now through May 18 for the pilot cohort. This cohort is supported by Strada Education Network.

Although institutions are still navigating the challenges caused by COVID-19, the Learner Success Lab process offers an opportunity to integrate pandemic response with longer-term strategic planning for learner success. The LSL is designed as a comprehensive change management process that emphasizes agility, resilience, and equity, all of which will be essential during recovery from the current crisis. Learn more about that here.

The LSL Steering Committee, including academic leaders, employers, students, and other higher education stakeholders, plays a key role in developing program materials, providing pilot cohort selection input, and refining the self-study assessment—a critical evaluation tool for participating institutions.

At a virtual meeting on March 14, committee member Sophia Norcott, one of the 2018 ACE Student of the Year Award recipients, spoke about how institutions can provide momentum to help students successfully complete their program. Norcott provided a number of suggestions based on her personal experience as a nontraditional student, including being transparent about transfer policies and clearly communicating the versatile paths students can take to meet their graduation requirements.

Yves Salomon-Fernandez, chair of the steering committee and president of Greenfield Community College, summed up the importance and timeliness of the LSL’s work when she said in her opening remarks, “The challenge for higher education right now is: how do we apply the lessons learned through COVID-19, and what we know now about the future, to transform our institutions? It is really a critical time to look at the changing demographics of this country, the real-time impact of social, economic, and technological incongruities, and the barriers for students to succeed that exist across all of our different institution types. As colleges and universities, we will need to continue to evolve our practices, curricula, and pedagogies for this complex and uncertain world, and equip not only our students but our faculty and staff, as well, with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful.”

Institutions wishing to learn more about the LSL or submit an application can do so by emailing or by visiting the LSL webpage.