Civitas Learning Aims to Drive Student Success through Data Analytics

By CIOReview | Thursday, June 12, 2014
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Austin, TX: Last week in Austin, a diverse group of forward-thinking education leaders arrived from across the United States and Mexico, representing their more than 260 campuses and 1 million students from two-and four-year, small rural and urban elite, for-profit and state-assisted non-profit institutions. The presidents, vice presidents, directors, and CIOs gathered with a common goal: to work together to harness the power of advanced analytics to improve student success.

This inaugural summit was hosted by Civitas Learning, the Austin-based start-up company on a mission to help a million more students graduate every year by 2025. The event was invitation-only for the institutions and systems that are signing on to be Civitas Learning Pioneers, including: Alamo Community College, Aliat Universidades (Mexico), Austin Community College, Bellevue University, City Colleges of Chicago, DeVry University, El Paso Community College, Jacksonville State University, Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Lee College, Morehouse College, Nova Southeastern University, Penn State, Rio Salado College, Strayer University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, University of Arizona, University of Central Florida, University of Maryland University College, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas System, Valencia College, and West Shore Community College.

Together with Civitas Learning and its data analytics and application suite, these institutions will work to gain greater understanding of student journeys through their institutions and use these insights to guide interventions; power applications for advisors, faculty, and students; and inform effective practices and policy.

“There is so much promise in using advanced data science and design thinking in education,” said Hank Childers, senior director of analytics at the University of Arizona. “We’re particularly interested in joining forces in this work with fellow committed educators from across the higher education spectrum.”

“The skill and will of the colleges and universities assembled, and the Civitas Learning team, makes this work exciting,” said Clifford Russell, chief information officer of Morehouse College. “As important, however, is the clear understanding that each of us have to do this work in keeping with our unique mission.”

Civitas Learning is intentionally beginning its work by focusing on a select group of universities and colleges. These institutions are committed to student-success innovation and to using data and analytics to guide their efforts. These pioneers make up the next phase of leaders that will help guide the Civitas Learning data science, application development and student success-focused innovation.

“These pioneer institutions form the nucleus of a tough-minded community of practice dedicated to exploring how to help higher education institutions get the right data to the right people in the right way at the right time,” said Mark Milliron, co-founder and chief learning officer for Civitas Learning. Charles Thornburgh, co-founder and chief executive officer added, “Together with these leaders, we are embarking on an exciting journey that holds the potential to help millions of students make the most of their higher education experiences in the years to come.”