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Student Success Partnership

What is the Student Success Partnership (SSP)?

The Student Success Partnership (SSP) is a three-year initiative to achieve CU Denver’s first and highest priority: elevating student success. It provides a catalyst to achieve short-term student success gains and a sustainable strategy to achieve long-term student success goals, ultimately benefiting our students.

Having worked with over a thousand higher education institutions across the nation, the consulting firm EAB has been hired to accelerate our progress to date and foster transformational change.  EAB brings knowledge of evidence-based best practices and technology tools to help support and accelerate our student success efforts.  Their combination of analytics, interaction and workflow technology, and consulting support will help us to retain and graduate more students.  To learn more about EAB, visit​​m/about-us​

The first phase of the student success partnership includes the development of a student success governance structure, the development of student success goals and metrics, and the implementation of a new technology platform, the Student Success Collaborative– Campus (SSC-Campus).   ​​​


 Frequently Asked Questions


 What are the major milestones? What are the metrics for the project’s success?

Initial major milestones include:

·         Establish a sustainable student success governance structure.

·         Create and adopt a master student communications calendar, which includes key intervention points for at-risk students.

·         Implement the EAB’s Student Success Collaborative Campus (SSC-Campus) technology. SSC-Campus is slated to go live October 2, 2017.

·          Using SSC-Campus technology, create a coordinated care network across CU Denver advising and student support services.​ 


 Which groups and units on campus are involved?

The Student Success Partnership spans all student success-related services and initiatives on campus. Student success is a priority at CU Denver, and every staff and faculty member impacts student success in some way. Groups and units working directly with the Partnership include academic advising, communications, enrollment management, financial aid, information technology services, institutional research and effectiveness, student affairs, student services, and the registrar. ​


 How is this effort different than previous ones?

The University of Colorado System Office, Chancellor Horrell, and CU Denver leadership have stated that elevating our student success is imperative to our institution's success. All staff and faculty, whether student-facing or not, play a role in a student's experience at CU Denver. The Student Success Partnership is intended to be an umbrella of authority and guidance over all student success initiatives across the university. This ensures all efforts are coordinated, prioritized and equipped with the appropriate stakeholders, communication channels, and resources.  ​


 Will this initiative build on previous efforts, such as the Student Affairs service blueprinting, and technical fixes, such as Starfish? How?

The EAB team spent the first quarter of 2017 learning about our historical and current processes, technologies, and student success efforts. The new governance structure will incorporate, parallel, or replace these efforts where appropriate. After consultation with advisors and various offices, the recommendation has been made to sunset Starfish at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. EAB's Student Success Collaborative (SSC) Campus platform provides more capabilities than Starfish, and will enable greater coordination across campus. ​


 How does this initiative dovetail with the Chancellor’s Action Teams on advising, K-12, community colleges and scholarships?

The Student Success Steering Committee will review the outstanding tasks and recommendations from the Chancellor's Action Teams and integrate those that are in alignment with the goals of the student success efforts moving forward.​


 What tools will the Student Success Partnership provide to change student success outcomes?

Through our Partnership, CU Denver has access to EAB's expansive best-practice research library, experts on various higher education topics, and the Student Success Collaborative (SSC) Campus technology platform. SSC-Campus provides predictive analytics with workflow and interaction capabilities to deliver holistic, personalized student support. Additionally, a team of EAB consultants dedicated to CU Denver's student success efforts are on campus monthly, helping to accelerate the work we are doing. ​


 What is faculty involvement with this project?

Faculty-student interaction is key to student success.  Faculty play an integral role in student success and have unique engagement points with students through the work and research done in the classroom. Faculty representation is an essential part of the student success governance structure to ensure academic support for future student success initiatives. Faculty will also have access to the SSC-Campus technology platform to upload progress reports and early warning signs for their students. Additionally, faculty will be called upon periodically to help facilitate the improvement of various academic items such as degree plans and course descriptions for the catalogue, as we work to standardize many of our processes. ​


 Will you be making suggestions to streamline CU Denver’s systems and processes?

The project directors have established a student success governance structure that builds on the work of several existing committees and the chancellor-commissioned Action Teams. EAB, the project directors, and the newly formed Student Success Steering Committee are working closely with each of the groups in this new structure to ensure we are building on the great work that has already been done and progressing toward our goals. Any recommendations from EAB to streamline or change CU Denver's systems and processes will be thoroughly vetted through the Student Success Steering Committee to ensure collaboration and efficiency. ​


 Who should I contact if I have an idea to streamline CU Denver’s systems and processes?

Please contact Jessi Zemetra,, with ideas and/or questions. ​


 How will this effort remove barriers and silos across offices and departments?

The Student Success Steering Committee and related action groups are designed to foster collaboration and communication across offices and departments so that silos are not only identified, but broken down. One of the roles of the program directors is to help remove barriers that stand in the way of implementing student success initiatives. In addition, the governance model includes representation from across the university to ensure the appropriate stakeholder involvement as decisions are made and implemented. ​


 What is the plan for advising?

In September 2016, Chancellor Horrell charged the Academic Advising Action Team to recommend an optimal advising model for CU Denver (centralized or hybrid). The Advising Action Team will transition this May 2017 to begin to assess the current state of advising and create an inventory of advising roles and responsibilities across the eight advising units. Final recommendations from the Action Team will be assessed by the Student Success Steering Committee this summer.


In addition, the SSC-Campus technology platform will aid advisors’ workloads by allowing for more efficient identification and outreach to various student populations. SSC-Campus offers advanced searches, case management, advising reports/notes, early alerts, multi-modal communication, direct scheduling, student kiosks, and advisor dashboards.​ 


 How will all of this improve student success?

All of our efforts to improve processes, standardize policies, and coordinate offices on campus will impact students. Students will benefit from more streamlined advising conversations, easier appointment scheduling, case management and referrals that ensure easy handoffs and no missed information, readily available resources such as degree plans and an academic calendar, and clear guidelines on what to do for holds, applying for graduation, and selecting courses, to name a few. ​


 How can I get involved?

As a member of the CU Denver community you can participate in webinars relevant to your area of work by visiting and creating a user account.


Additionally, EAB has catalogued more than 200 student success best practices from across their research forums. Once an user account is created, you may access these 200 best practices by visiting​


 Who’s leading this project from CU Denver? Who should I go to if I have questions about the project?

Provost Roderick Nairn is spearheading the Student Success Partnership. Project Directors for the Student Success Partnership include Raul Cardenas, Russ Poole, Nelia Viveiros and Jessi Zemetra. If you have questions, please contact the Project Manager, Jessi Zemetra, at   ​


 What is the time frame?

The Student Success Partnership with EAB is a three-year engagement, from 2017 through 2019.  The work started during the Partnership will last into the future as we continue to strive toward our student success goals. ​


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