The Student Success North Star
This activity is a useful way to surface what truly matters to you as individuals and as an institution when it comes to student success. The goal is to move your team toward alignment around what student success means to you as an institution, so that you can more effectively prioritize initiatives.
- Suggested time: 30-45 mins
- Materials: Post-its, pens, whiteboard or large sheet of paper
- When to use: When you want to spark a conversation about a shared vision of student success
Introduce the exercise as a way to get everyone on the same page about your north star as an institution and to help you more clearly define what student success means to you. Remind your team that it is natural and expected for a diversity of opinions to emerge.
At the top of your board, write “Student success is…,” and give your team 5 minutes to complete the sentence on their Post-its. Let them know they are free to write more than one response. At the end of 5 minutes, allow each team member to read their responses and place their Post-its on the wall, whiteboard, or large sheet of paper for everyone to see.
On the whiteboard or large sheet of paper, write, “In one sentence, define [your institution]’s focus in relation to student success,” and give your team 5 minutes to write their responses on Post-its. At the end of 5 minutes, allow each team member to read their Post-its out loud, and place them on the wall, whiteboard, or large sheet of paper.
Discuss the responses together for 10 minutes. Does your team notice any common themes? Does anything surprise you?
Ask each person to stand up and vote for the statements that most resonate with them by drawing a star on a maximum of three Post-its.
Select the top voted statement, and either place it at the top of your board to help anchor the next portion of your meeting, or send it to your team for future reference after your meeting ends. Check out the Assessing and Prioritizing Initiatives tool next to explore aligning your institution’s initiatives along your north star.