WSU Tri-Cities one of nine college campuses selected for Learner Success Lab

Students walking across a pathway at WSU Tri-Cities

WSU Tri-Cities one of nine college campuses selected for Learner Success Lab

Experience to help with developing tools and resources for students in changing educational environment amid COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Shifting economic pressures and changing technologies have caused universities and colleges to make extensive changes to their delivery of educational experiences, which has only been expedited amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why Washington State University Tri-Cities is participating in a new cohort of nine colleges and universities for a Learner Success Laboratory.

WSU Tri-Cities instructor in a classroom-01

WSU Tri-Cities instructor in a classroom

The Learner Success Laboratory, hosted by the American Council on Education, is a comprehensive change management process that facilitates continuous improvement through intentional transformation of institutional systems, processes, programs and culture around learner success.

Kate McAteer, WSU Tri-Cities vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said the pandemic has exposed inequities and has created new challenges that demand that universities and colleges adapt and innovate.

“WSU Tri-Cities serves a high population of students who are the first in their families to attend college, but also a high population of students that have to work to support their families, in addition to other pressures, while they are going to school,” she said. “We are building on efforts during the pandemic to create a place where all students have a strong sense of belonging. The Learner Success Lab will help equip us with tools, important discussions with fellow institutions and research-driven practices that will help us shape the future of learning at WSU Tri-Cities.”

WSU Tri-Cities and fellow selected institutions are working over a period of 12-18 months to integrate evidence-based practices for persistence and completion, life design and career exploration and workforce skills development. WSU Tri-Cities began its work with the Learner Success Laboratory this fall.

Through the Learner Success Lab, WSU Tri-Cities will develop an inclusive student support model that provides multiple and relevant pathways for success through academic and co-curricular learning, student development and career and civic engagement. The learner success model will also engage faculty and staff in professional development, allowing them to pursue goals and achieve their potential in student-centered work.

Students interact in the Student Union Building at WSU Tri-Cities

Students interact in the Student Union Building at WSU Tri-Cities.

“This is an opportunity for us to look at what is working and where changes need to be made in use of technology, addressing where students are financially and socioeconomically and updating educational experiences in the classroom to ensure well-prepared graduates who meet the demands of industry,” McAteer said.

The other institutions in the cohort are:

  • CETYS University (Mexico)
  • Clarke University
  • Florida International University
  • Lewis University
  • New Jersey City University
  • Rowan College at Burlington County
  • Southern University at Shreveport
  • Western Illinois University

Learn more about the Learner Success Lab on the American Council on Education website.