KOKOMO, Ind. —Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Mark Canada is among a group of experts sharing student success research in a recently published book.
Canada co-wrote a chapter about experiential learning, drawing from his leadership of the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program, for Radical Reimagining for Student Success in Higher Education, published in April 2023 by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
“Our purpose in publishing the book is to give faculty and administrators tools to work with to make the educational experience better for their students,” said Canada, noting there is plenty of research available, but this book condenses it to one volume to make it more accessible.
“There’s a lot of information to help faculty structure their classrooms and develop experiences for students in a way that is more likely to lead to student success.”
The book includes sections about reimagining institutions, and looking at policies, data, and analytic strategies to drive student and institutional success; reimagining the student experience, including learning, support structures, and the personnel process; and reimagining higher education, including its culture.
Student success is a top priority at IU Kokomo. This emphasis led to Canada’s involvement in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU’s) Re-Imagining the First Year (RYI) initiative, which brought together 44 institutions over three years to identify and test programs, strategies, and tools aimed at improving retention rates for first-year students, while teaching them skills needed to succeed in college and the workplace.
“We’ve invested a lot of time, money, energy, and thought into creating avenues where students can succeed,” he said. “There are so many challenges students face, and we have to be very intentional about crafting an experience that will be positive for them.”
At IU Kokomo, that led to the KEY program, which provides students with a wide range of unique, hands-on experiential learning opportunities close to home, across the country, and around the world. It starts with the KEY Summer Institute, a free program to help students successfully transition from high school to college, and continues with opportunities such as travel, research opportunities with faculty, conference attendance, and more.
“Student success has long been an area of focus at IU Kokomo,” Canada said. “I’m happy I can participate in such a way that highlights our campus as a leader in student success research. This reflects our commitment to student success, and demonstrates it is a whole-campus effort, including the chancellor. We are looking at what research says about it, and we are intentionally, actively pursuing ways to help our students succeed.”