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Bradley E. Cox
Principal Investigator
LIPSS Project

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Linking Institutional Policies to Student Success

PDFFor Immediate Release
January 10, 2013

New report highlights widespread, but inconsistent, institutional efforts to facilitate student success in the first year of college.

Higher education institutions in the five-state Linking Institutional Policies to Student Success (LIPSS) pilot study have done approximately one-half of what they could be doing to align their policies with the available research on first-year student success.

Assessment and Data-Driven Decision-Making: Most participating institutions have engaged in formal and wide-spread data collection activities related to institutional research, program assessment, and course evaluations. Far less common, however, is the use of such data for instructional development, academic planning, and resource allocation.

Coordination of the First Year of College: Many institutions have developed mechanisms to coordinate the first-year of college (e.g. committees, offices, individuals). However, these mechanisms may not be maximizing the potential for high-level, cross-divisional collaboration
Faculty Engagement with First-Year Students: Although most schools offer first-year seminars and have early alert systems that promote course-related interaction between faculty members and students, policies supporting or encouraging student-faculty interaction outside of the classroom are less common. Policies requiring or systematically rewarding faculty members for such engagement are particularly uncommon.

Information Dissemination:
Institutions appear quick to share relevant information with key stakeholders (i.e., students, parents, guidance counselors), often front-loading information before students even attend their first class. But fewer than half of the surveyed institutions reiterate those early messages to students after classes have begun.

Project staff will present initial findings at the following conferences in the coming months:


Detailed findings are available in two documents: a brief Modal Institution Report and our 40-page comprehensive initial report. Please feel free to visit the project website (, share the accompanying reports, attend one of our conference sessions, or contact Brad Cox, the project’s Principal Investigator, for additional information.


LIPSS project staff would like to recognize the generous support of the following organizations:

TG Public Benefit Grants Program
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Parsing the First Year of College project at Penn State
The Center for Higher Education Research, Teaching, and Innovation (CHERTI) at FSU
The College of Education, Office of Research at FSU
The Council on Research and Creativity (CRC) at FSU

For more information on the LIPSS project, visit or contact Dr. Bradley E. Cox, Assistant Professor of Higher Education in Florida State University’s College of Education, at 850-644-6446 or