July 22, 2020 – Massasoit Community College was recently welcomed into the American Council on Education’s (ACE) pilot cohort of the Learner Success Laboratory (LSL) – a structured strategic planning process to advance critical institutional priorities. Massasoit was just one of 10 institutions selected from across the country to work over a 12 – 18 months period to integrate evidence-based practices as part of the LSL.

“The selection process was highly competitive and selective,” said Dr. Pamela Witcher, Massasoit’s vice provost of academic & student affairs. “We went through an extensive interview with the ACE team where we shared our current programs and plans for the future. I believe our plans and positive team energy were some of the reasons we were chosen.”

LSL institutions will focus on student persistence and completion, life design and career exploration, and workforce skills development, ultimately producing a comprehensive strategy for learner success. The cohort begins in October 2020 and is supported by a grant from the Strada Education Network.

“Our focus at Massasoit is going to be on student advising. We have many supports in place that serve smaller portions of students, like TRIO, the Latch Program, and the Ubuntu Scholars, so our goal is to expand services in a more holistic way. The LSL is a way for us to learn from experts and others who are doing similar work, who can be role models for us, and share resources and ideas,” said Witcher.

“This is an important time to take action to further learner success, especially for post-traditional and traditionally underserved learners who are our new majority,” said Lindsey Myers, director of the LSL. “As higher education reshapes itself in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions in the Learner Success Lab can leverage this opportunity to align their resources and build strategies that center and empower learners.”

The other members of the pilot cohort are:

  • Elon University
  • Iowa State University
  • Labouré College
  • Richard Bland College of William & Mary
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • Union Institute & University
  • University of Hawaii-West Oahu
  • Western Oregon University
  • Windward Community College

“We were planning to do this work in the upcoming year. Now we will be able to do this work with access to the best practices and higher education leadership in the country, which will help us grow even further. We look forward to contributing to the best practices and helping more of our students succeed in achieving their academic and life goals.” added Witcher.