SOURCE: Civitas Learning

Civitas Learning

September 22, 2016 09:00 ET

Civitas Learning Upgrades Flagship Product Illume, Simplifies Data-Informed Decision-Making for Colleges and Universities

Institutional Leaders Report That New Capabilities Generate Daily Insights and Student-Level Recommendations That Challenge Conventional Wisdom About Student Success

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Sep 22, 2016) - Following spring 2016 pilots at a cross section of leading institutions, Civitas Learning today announced new features for its popular Illume product, designed to help higher education decision makers move beyond assumptions and best practices to understand the impact of student success initiatives on their campus.

"We have a responsibility to look beyond simple averages or generalized best practices to target investments based on what's actually working for the unique needs of our students," said Angela Baldasare, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research, University of Arizona. "Illume is a game changer for us. We've been running countless initiatives and doing our best to understand what is having an impact. Now we have a more nuanced and multidimensional understanding of student risk and success to inform targeted, timely interventions and measure impact."

Historically, understanding the impact -- or unintended consequences -- associated with an institution's unique policies, advising, or technology solutions required complex, time-consuming research. By integrating disparate sources of academic, financial and behavioral data, Illume, which is now used by nearly 100 colleges and universities, surfaces key insights about student behavior related to success that helps institutions design more effective initiatives and interventions.

New to Illume are two features -- Courses and Impact -- which enable institutions to move beyond just GPA and other historic indicators to a more precise, holistic understanding of student success.

  • Courses makes it possible for institutions to identify the individual courses with the biggest impact on student success pathways -- persistence and graduation -- at the institutional, college, program, and major level; and to determine which students are most affected by those courses and pinpoint opportunities to optimize curriculum and programs.
  • Impact helps decision makers see which initiatives are helping students the most and which are the least effective, providing a detailed view of how an institution's initiatives impact students and which students are helped the most.

The new features complement existing functionality with Illume Students, which enables institutions to explore powerful predictors of risk and success across different student populations and allocate resources with more confidence about the impact it will have on student persistence and success.

"When you consider how unique each campus really is, and the array of the challenges faced by individual students, the risk of relying on one-sized-fits-all best practices or simple demographic triggers to make decisions becomes clear," said Charles Thornburgh, Civitas Learning Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Drawing conclusions and taking action based on the inaccurate -- or outdated -- assumptions can be worse than doing nothing at all. Students and the professionals serving them deserve better, and technology now enables a much more holistic and precise approach."

The latest version of Illume facilitated the creation of Civitas Learning's recent Community Insights Report, which challenged the use of GPA as a primary predictor of student success using an analysis of more than 2 million unique student records. According to the report, more than 1/3 of students who leave school before finishing their degree have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The next version of the Community Insights Report will be released this fall.

For more about Illume, visit https://www.civitaslearning.com/illume.

About Civitas Learning®: Civitas Learning is the Student Success Platform for higher education. Our Student Insights Engine™ powers initiatives that dramatically improve student success.

Data tells us every day how students are doing and what they need most. Are you listening to their story? Our Student Success Platform leverages the most statistically rigorous technology in the market today to provide a clear view of the current and future state of your institution and students. Faculty, administrators and students are empowered to act with confidence and make the most of their time, energy and investment for the greatest good.

Today, our community includes more than 285 institutions reaching more than 6.5 million students worldwide. Together, we are working to help millions of more students learn well, finish strong, and go on to brighter futures and better careers. For more information, visit: www.civitaslearning.com.

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