Assessing The Effectiveness Of Programs For At-Risk Students: Strategies That Work


Recorded on: March 15, 2016 (60 minutes)

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Assessing The Effectiveness Of Programs For At-Risk Students: Strategies That Work

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Higher education faces increasing ethical and practical demands in order to successfully serve special at-risk student populations. Providing services for these students can be difficult, and successfully evaluating the programs that target at-risk populations presents even more challenges. Many traditional measures of student success such as course grades and retention are reported for the entire student population. These broad reporting practices can make it more difficult to get an accurate reflection of the quality of at-risk programs because some experiences of these limited groups are not common to the student population as a whole.

This webinar will look at some processes for examining the effectiveness of targeted programming, such as seminars for students on probation or returning from suspension, workshops for international students, learning communities for veterans, summer bridge programs, intensive pre-semester skills review for conditionally admitted students, and other programming for specific populations that struggle for academic success and retention. Participants will look at both quantitative and qualitative data as well as short- and long-term perspectives on success.


  • Identify categories of at-risk students
  • Describe at-risk students’ personal and academic characteristics
  • Identify some of the challenges involved in evaluation for at-risk student programs
  • Write outcomes and/or select baseline measures
  • Create a comparison group for evaluation
  • Develop an evaluation plan that combines qualitative and quantitative measures as well as direct and indirect measures of effectiveness
  • Understand the importance of “big picture” data
  • Identify campus partners and assistance for evaluation projects

Who Should Attend?

  • 2-year & 4-year institutions
  • Academic Affairs/Instruction
  • Student Services/Affairs
  • First Year Experience Coordinators
  • Retention Specialists
  • Any educator interested in student retention and persistence