Success of First Learner Success Lab Cohort Highlights Benefits of Comprehensive Approach
May 26, 2022

​​The inaugural cohort of ACE’s Learner Success Lab (LSL), which launched in 2020, overcame unforeseen and myriad pandemic-related challenges to successfully complete LSL’s comprehensive change management process, leaving participants with original strategies to improve learner success at their institutions. 

The 10 institutions that comprise the cohort will reflect on their journey, celebrate their results, and prepare for the next stages of serving their learners at their wrap-up meeting in June. Originally conceived as an experiment based off of ACE’s Internationalization Laboratory, the first cohort demonstrates the program’s effectiveness at applying a comprehensive framework to help institutions develop a well-rounded strategy for learner success.

Patterned after ACE’s Model for Comprehensive Internationalization, the LSL framework is comprised of six interconnected target areas and three strategic lenses that illustrate a strategic, coordinated process to align policies, practices, and resources to position institutions to better facilitate learner success. Key activities within the 18-month cohort process include an initial campus visit to help prepare institutions for self-assessment, three milestone meetings to assess progress and plan next steps, and a peer review visit conducted toward the end of the lab that allows for reflection. 

The inaugural cohort set the bar high for future cohorts with its variety of highlights and accomplishments. An early achievement came when institutions cultivated broader awareness of the state of learner success on their campuses. 

Elon University, for example, developed a holistic mentoring constellations model to drive its strategic plan, while Southeast Missouri State University produced an entirely new strategic action plan for comprehensive learner success. 

Other institutions saw meaningful results when they focused some of their work on particular student populations. For example, Union Institute & University geared much of its LSL work toward establishing learner success initiatives for its growing Hispanic population. 

As the lab progressed, some institutions also developed strategic partnerships with each other that will extend in the years to come. Massasoit Community College and Labouré College, for example, worked closely together on advising models. This trend has continue during the ongoing work of current cohort 2, with Clarke University and Florida International University building connections around better serving adult learners. 

The completion of Cohort 1, which was supported by Strada Education Network, marks the end of an initial journey. The institutions’ relationships with ACE and each other, however, will be long-lasting, as they implement the findings and recommendations of the Lab on their campuses.

Applications are now open for Cohort 3. Interested institutions can apply here and can fill out this form​ to receive more information.​​

Learner Success Laboratory

Apply now to join the next cohort of the Learner Success Lab, launching Fall 2022.

Learn more