Massasoit Community College Focuses on Being Data-Informed and Student-Ready Through ACE Learner Success Lab

​​​​​​​​​​​​May 2022 

After persisting through a global pandemic that only exacerbated the need for evidence-based learner success strategies, participating institutions in the initial cohort of the ACE Learner Success Laboratory  ​(LSL) are now wrapping up their work. Several of these LSL Cohort 1 participants are sharing their experiences and takeaways through the Lab Impact Profile series.

​Massasoit Community College—a public, open-admission college located in Brockton, Massachusetts—is a dynamic, diverse learning community that supports all students in their education, leads to careers or transfers to four-year institutions, and encourages the pursuit of lifelong learning. Massasoit joined the LSL in 2020 as a member of the inaugural cohort to advance its ambitious goals for improving student retention and graduation rates, building or enhancing sustainable academic and support structures in service of its mission and learners, and ensuring the successful implementation of the college’s strategic plan. 

Through the Lab process, Massosoit worked closely with ACE staff and expert Lab advisers to identify goals for their institution, craft recommendations for their university leadership, and measure outcomes from their efforts.


​One of the college's primary goals in joining the LSL was to determine how its newly developed institutional strategic plan—a five-pronged approach to achieving outcomes in areas that impact student success—​corresponds to the ACE Model for Comprehen​sive Learner Success​. With new senior leadership in place at Massasoit and a renewed commitment to becoming a more student-ready institution, the LSL’s self-study and structured strategic planning process provided tools to reveal the college’s areas of strength and areas for improvement as well as guide the prioritization of new initiatives. Another goal was to work with and learn from other outstanding leaders in higher education through the LSL cohort model. ​


Stemming from the campus-wide data collection, analysis, and planning process facilitated through the LSL, the following recommendations to Massasoit's leadership were developed: 

  • Update the institution’s strategic plan to include articulated goals for learner success and related metrics, and use the existing plan as the foundation of a new strategic academic plan and other needed learner success programming
  • Create a first-year experience program for all incoming students to ensure that they have the comprehensive skills needed to succeed in college
  • Provide more training to strengthen intrusive advising by faculty and staff and expand the use of current software tools to better support students
  • ​Assess student services and policies and add tracking of key performance indicators in order to assure the removal of obstacles and increase student persistence and completion


The primary outcome of Massasoit's LSL self-study was the increased consensus from all stakeholders in becoming a data and evidence-based institution. Through the self-study, the college learned about many promising practices throughout the institution from various departments. They also more clearly recognized the challenges present on campus and the need to address them through a new strategic and academic planning process. Faculty and staff are now more interested in how they can use data to inform decisions and how to better communicate all the great work going on at the college, and they are supportive of increased training for intrusive advising practices. 

Another key outcome was the acknowledgement of broad support for a renewed first-year experience program. More support was also garnered for a stronger English as a second language program to support newer American and nontraditional students. A related outcome was the recognition of a greater need to align noncredit to credit programming and to use the same student enrollment software for that student population.  

The LSL process allowed us to bring together the appropriate teams on and off campus to continue our focus not on getting students college-ready, but on getting the institution student-ready."—Deanna Yameen, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs, Massasoit Community College


The Massasoit ​team recommends that institutions considering—or preparing for—participation in the ACE Learner Success Lab:  

  • Set clear expectations with your LSL adviser and LSL steering committee on what to do for your self-study and determine the best approach for your institutional context, remembering that the self-study is a guide—you do not have to answer every question!  
  • Plan ways to celebrate your steering committee’s efforts throughout the initiative, including a celebration at the end of the project
  • Choose on-campus LSL leaders with project management experience who can dedicate time to the project and to the steering committee

The ACE Learner Success Lab​

​The Learner Success Lab is an inclusive learning community that integrates evidence-based practices for persistence and completion, life design and career exploration, and workforce skills development to assist participating institutions in developing a comprehensive strategy for learner success.