September 27, 2023
SHREVEPORT – LSU Shreveport is one of 11 colleges chosen to participate in an inaugural cohort to transform the early college experience.
Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience is a new national initiative that aims to transform the critical first two years of college experience during which students create the foundation for ultimate success and degree completion.
Led by the Gardner Institute, a leading national student success nonprofit organization, the effort will help institutions focus on inequitable performance gaps and take action to improve student learning and success.
"We are delighted to have been selected for this first cohort, collaborating with the Gardner Institute to transform the first two years of the college experience," Smith said. "LSU Shreveport is dedicated to supporting successful outcomes for all of our students. However, with first-generation college students making up 60 percent of our undergraduate student body, we recognize that first-generation students often encounter challenges that other students do not.”
"We've successfully implemented initiatives at LSUS that help students to be successful early in their college careers and ultimately graduate. We look forward to sharing our successes and collaborating with other universities in the cohort to develop best practices that can be shared nationwide."
LSUS will closely collaborate with cohort members over the five-year period to develop innovative strategies, enhance teaching and learning practices, and promote student retention and success.
The initiative’s aim is to move toward eliminating demographics, zip codes, and other variables as the best predictors of success.
“We are thrilled to welcome LSU Shreveport to the inaugural cohort of Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience,” said Dr. Drew Koch, CEO of the Gardner Institute. “The five-year commitment demonstrates the institution’s dedication to transforming the postsecondary experience for all their students.
“This is a bold action. The university clearly recognizes that doing hard things requires long-term commitment. Improving student success in ways that maintain access, eliminate performance gaps, and uphold quality is very hard. But LSUS is committed to doing this hard, and that’s why it was selected to take part.”
The 11 participating institutions enroll nearly 115,000 undergraduates with 43 percent of those students receiving a Pell Grant and 41 percent of students identifying as African-American, Hispanic, Indigenous or two or more races.
Other universities in the cohort include Bridgewater State (Mass.), California State-San Bernardino, Capital (Ohio), CUNY Queensborough Community College (N.Y.), Columbia College of Chicago, Mississippi State, Normandale Community College (Minn.), Purdue University Global, Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Southeast.
Earlier this month, LSUS received related recognition as a Tier 1 school when it comes to economic mobility for low-income graduates. The study was conducted by the organization Third Way, a national think tank.