Civitas Learning: Predictive Analytics to Steer Better Student Outcomes

Charles Thornburgh, Founder & CEO
The United States must produce roughly one million more graduates a year by 2025 to ensure the country has the skilled workers and entrepreneurial leaders it needs–not to mention more deeply engaged and informed citizens. Of the 30 million students in higher education today, about half will graduate, with huge disparities based on the income levels of incoming students. Today, a child born poor in the United States is more likely to remain poor than at any time in our nation’s history. For the first time, younger generations will be less educated than their elders. Civitas Learning is on a mission to help solve this problem. “By harnessing the power of insight and action analytics, we partner with forward-thinking colleges and universities to help students learn well and finish strong,” said Charles Thornburgh, CEO and Co-Founder of Civitas Learning. “As daunting as the challenge of one million more graduates sounds, we can reach the goal together by helping our community colleges and universities improve outcomes for current students, and find creative new pathways for returning students.”

Reaching this goal would increase today’s annual output of associate and bachelor’s degree-holders by about 3.5 percent a year for the next decade – a goal that’s very achievable.

Civitas Learning helps higher education institutions by systematically tapping into the wealth of current and historical student data across diverse systems, and piecing them into coherent and useful student stories. “As the pieces come together, it builds up the story where we can literally watch how different students progress, and see when and where they face challenges,” says Thornburgh. These stories, which are brought to the front lines in well-designed, user-friendly apps by Civitas, help faculty members identify struggling students who need more instruction and also help advisors with those students who are at most risk.

Civitas Learning’s Illume™ Platform and App provides the core insights necessary for institutions to take action. It helps analyze key institutional
metrics, such as course success, persistence, and graduation. It provides views of historical results and predictions of future performance. Degree Map™, and the Inspire™ suite of applications developed by Civitas Learning that run on the Illume™ Platform offer institutions the best of predictive analytics to support their current and future student success initiatives in real-time. Civitas also aims to fuel an ecosystem of action analytics apps from partners/publishers, open source community, universities—with their insight analytics. “The real value of this work will be creating a community of educators using data to tune these apps to have the greatest impact on student success,” says Thornburgh.

We bring together the best of education and technology to help students learn well and finish strong

Civitas Learning’s work with University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is one such example where data insights turned into a success story. Leveraging the Civitas Learning predictive analytics platform and Inspire applications, UMUC ran a pilot program to test the efficacy of using predictive analytics-based interventions to improve successful course completion rates. Over the course of three terms starting in spring 2013, UMUC and Civitas Learning built predictive models, tested different approaches to intervention, and evaluated outcomes in detail. During the fall 2013 term, across an experimental pool of approximately 10,000 undergraduate enrollments, the test group outperformed the control group in successful course completion by nearly 3 percentage points. “It translated to 150 students who passed, who otherwise would have failed,” says Thornburgh.

Civitas Learning is currently focused on higher education, with an eye on K-12 and workforce development in the near future.

Civitas Learning

Austin, TX

Charles Thornburgh, Founder & CEO

Using a cloud-based, predictive analytics platform and engaging applications, CivitasLearning helps partner institutions to improve student learning, persistence, and graduation.