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NASH Newsletter – May 2017

May 4, 2017

NASH National Association of System Heads logo


In April, teams from sixteen systems gathered in Denver for the second annual TS3 convening.  New tools were shared in focused sessions on predictive analytics, high impact practices, and math pathways.  Tristan Denley spoke on the importance of integrating these interventions into a holistic strategy for student success, and system teams developed mind maps to envision these ideas in their specific contexts.  Jason Lane gave a compelling presentation on leveraging the power of systems, which helped participants reframe their efforts to make greater progress.  Sustaining momentum in this ongoing work was also considered.  As always, the opportunity to network with colleagues across systems led to engaging conversations about bright spots and lessons learned.  At the conclusion of the meeting, we were all impressed with the advances underway in TS3 Systems.

TS3 is gaining national attention.  The January/February issue of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning includes a major article on this initiative, which states, in short:

  • We know what works—and we know that these reforms are not reaching all of our students.
  • It is time to take these pockets of success to the next level, accelerating and amplifying the interventions that work by leveraging the power of systems.
  • While other organizations are making progress on completion, NASH and TS3 have the scale for unprecedented impact.
  • TS3 leverages the power of university systems to drive transformational change at the campus level.

For the full article, please see:  A shorter piece also appeared in the May issue of the EDUCAUSE Review:

The TS3 Leadership Team, made up of academic leaders from five systems, is focused on building on this momentum.  We will continue our webinar series over the summer, beginning with a session from the University System of Maryland on culture change for student success on June 8.  Plans are underway for webinars on predictive analytics tools and high impact practices.  Look for webinar invitations in the upcoming weeks.

The TS3 Network continues to welcome new NASH Systems, so please contact Rebecca Martin ( if you would like further information.

And, mark your calendars for the next annual TS3 Network convening!  It will be held in Chicago on April 12 – 13, 2018.

Please visit our TS3 website for additional information and resources:



In collaboration with CSU Dominguez Hills, NASH will cohost a national symposium as part of our TS3 initiative to improve the delivery of high-impact practices like undergraduate research, learning communities, peer mentoring, and service learning. Many NASH institutions already offer such HIPs regularly and well, but struggle with documenting the benefits, scaling what works, and targeting delivery to the students who most stand to benefit.

Conference participants will present and learn about best practices in the field, with a particular focus on public institutions that prioritize access, affordability, and equity.  Please save the date for the upcoming meeting:

High-Impact Practices in the States
February 22-24, 2018
CSU Dominguez Hills, Southern California



NASH is actively involved in Advancing Mathematics Pathways for Student Success (AMPSS), a national coalition of higher education organizations led by Brit Kirwan to work at the state level to transform math pathways for millions of students. The AMPSS vision is that all students desiring public postsecondary education will have options to receive the rigorous mathematics instruction that is most relevant to their chosen programs of study, whether begun at a 2-year or 4-year institution.  Seamless transfer of mathematics credits across institutions contributing to greater student course and degree completion is also envisioned.

AMPSS is closely linked to Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3) and will build on the work that many NASH systems and campuses already have underway in math redesign.  Clearly, our systems will play a leadership role in moving this important agenda forward in their states.  Several NASH leaders participated in a summit in March to help shape this initiative, and Rebecca Martin serves on the coalition’s leadership team.

We are joined in this effort by APLU and AASCU, as the major membership organizations reaching public higher education leaders across the country.  Mathematicians have strongly endorsed this approach, specifically through their call for transforming undergraduate math from TPSE Math (Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics).  The Dana Center, Complete College America, and the Carnegie Foundation, all of which have major efforts to help institutions, systems, and states redesign pathways, are also engaged.

We are seeking external support, hoping to advance math pathways redesign across forty states in the next five years, and we believe we collectively have the right expertise and the right stakeholders involved for making this happen.  Look for more information on AMPSS in the coming months.



In November 2017, NASH collaborated with the American Council of Education (ACE) to offer a leadership academy on system and campus change.  With a focus on student success, the Leadership Academy was designed to support systems facilitating large-scale change, enhancing campus and system performance, and scaling best practices across multiple campuses.  Tools were presented for leading and facilitating large-scale change initiatives and relationships between system and campus leaders.  Seven teams of system and campus leaders participated, and each identified a specific area of interest to their system, such as transfer pathways, communication plans, statewide networks, and faculty engagement.

Cathy Sandeen, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges had this to say about the academy:

“The NASH-ACE Leadership Academy gave our team the perfect opportunity to explore large scale improvements in student success by leveraging our multi-campus system. The Leadership Academy helped us carve out time and provided a process that kept us focused and moving forward on our system-wide seamless transfer project. Meeting teams from other systems and sharing our experiences was inspiring. I realize when it comes to access and student success, we’re all in this together. This is just what our team needed to jumpstart a large new initiative that will benefit our students for years to come.”

We will be offering this academy again on January 17-18, 2018, in Washington, DC.  Registration information will be shared in the near future.  Please contact Rebecca Martin if you would like to know more about this opportunity.



Tennessee Board of Regents colleagues Tristan Denley and Pamela Knox recently issued an important technical brief on the next phase of their groundbreaking work on improving success for students in Tennessee.  Spurred by their ongoing progress in increasing retention rates with co-requisite remediation, they turned their attention to the emerging research on student mindset.  Following a detailed survey of students enrolled in classes employing this model on campuses across the system, they identified the need for change in four essential practice areas:  building self-efficacy in students, building a sense of belonging in the institutions, developing a more growth oriented mindset in students and faculty, and developing a perception of relevancy in coursework.  Thoughts on addressing these challenges are also included.  Click here for the full study.  Technical reports can be found here:



Collaboration between K12 and Higher Ed is one of the most important pieces we can strengthen and put in place to help our students.  In January, we hosted a webinar along with CCSSO and SHEEO to highlight two states, Tennessee and South Dakota, that are working together to help ensure students are ready for college and careers.  We had excellent participation with over 150 representatives from both Higher Ed and K-12.

To view the webinar, please click on the following URL and push OPEN in the top right corner of the page: Moving the College Readiness & Success Needle Webinar.



Higher Ed for Higher Standards released the latest in their series of Leveraging ESSA policy briefs in partnership with NASH, SHEEO and CCSSO in mid-April. This piece makes the case for vertically aligning K-12 education goals with postsecondary credential attainment goals in states, and identifies clear strategies for accomplishing this.

According to Lumina Foundation, over 30 states have set postsecondary attainment goals with a clear eye toward meeting their economic development needs. This new brief argues that these attainment goals can’t be reached through the actions of postsecondary systems and institutions alone. Meeting ambitious attainment goals will require K-12 and higher education rowing in the same direction so that more of our students arrive at our institutions prepared for success.

Aligning attainment goals will require K-12 systems to expand their focus beyond high school graduation rates and put greater stock in postsecondary readiness, transitions and success, as Ryan Reyna argues in a recent op-ed “High School Isn’t Enough,” published in U.S. News.

Goals are only a starting point. States will also need to take the next step to identify appropriate supports and acceleration strategies to prepare more students for postsecondary success. Read Shannon Gilkey‘s commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education “Postsecondary Success Starts in High School” for more ideas on how states and institutions can help students realize postsecondary success.



American Council on Education (ACE) and USA Funds released a new report titled Unpacking the Relationships Between Instruction and Student Outcomes examining the intersection between college instruction and student outcomes. The report’s author, Natasha Jankowski, director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, concludes that while research shows that evidence-based teaching practices leads to increased student engagement and persistence toward a postsecondary degree, institutions can do more to provide support for faculty in the classroom.



The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently published a book titled Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success.  This book aims to reframe the dialogue on student success.  It shifts the focus from what students lack to focusing more on what educators can do to create stronger, higher-quality educational environments that promote full inclusion and continuous improvement.

The national conversation asking “Are students college-ready?” concentrates on numerous factors that are beyond higher education’s control. Becoming a Student-Ready College flips the college readiness conversation to provide a new perspective on creating institutional value and facilitating student success. Jossey-Bass is offering a 25% discount on the book.  Please click here if you would like more information.



New System Heads
Dr. Mun Y. Choi, President, University of Missouri System
Dr. Flora Tydings, Chancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents
Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Acting Commissioner, RI Council on Postsecondary Education

New NASH Members
Dr. Blake Flanders, President and CEO, Kansas Board of Regents
Ray Hayes, Chancellor, University of Alabama System
Dr. Charles L. Welch, President, Arkansas State University System


Type Topic Date Location Meeting
NASH Board NASH Board Meeting July 10 Charleston SHEEO
TS3 Webinar Culture Change for Student Success June 8 Webinar NASH
CAO NASH CAO Network Meeting August 9 Minneapolis SHEEO
System Heads NASH Board & Annual Meeting November 13 Washington, DC APLU