Innovating for Student Success

UTx
UTx
Feb 17, 2015 · 2 min read

By Steven Mintz, Executive Director

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

The Institute for Transformational Learning has a unique mission: To serve as a catalyst for the innovations that will define the future of higher education.

Right now, a major challenge facing postsecondary education is to ensure that a far higher proportion of non-traditional students — the new student majority that includes low-income students, first-generation college students, part-time students, transfer students, working adults, family caregivers, and those with some college but no degree — acquire the skills and credentials necessary for success in today’s knowledge economy.

In partnership with University of Texas academic and health science campus faculty, the ITL is devising the breakthrough models that can dramatically move the needle on student success. We are:

  • Developing transformational curriculum and program designs, instructional and delivery modes, and student support structures that will make a high quality education dramatically more accessible, affordable, and successful, especially among groups that higher education has too often failed.
  • Designing and implementing next generation user experiences and infrastructure that will allow the UT campuses to deliver personalized, adaptive educational programming and support services at scale and offer powerful networking and collaborative experiences among faculty, students, and coaches.
  • Harnessing the power of advanced learning analytics so that the UT campuses can better advise students, personalize instruction, and continuously improve teaching methods and student support services.

Our projects are among the academy’s most exciting. These include:

  • An array of career-aligned, competency-based degrees in areas of high employer and student demand including the health sciences, business, and engineering;
  • Degree verticals with an optimized curriculum and individualized learning pathways that can begin in high school and lead to graduate school or a rewarding career;
  • Innovative medical school curricula that are competency-based and that emphasize experiential and project- and challenge-based learning; and
  • A cross-institutional educational marketplace for health professionals worldwide.

Many students need a curriculum that offers a clear value proposition, a streamlined path to a degree, and proactive academic support, a personal coach, and one-stop advising. We are working with campus faculty to create innovative pathways that will meet the needs of these students.

Uniting the ITL’s initiatives is an overarching strategy that is student-centered, outcomes oriented, career-aligned, data-driven, and sustainable.

Our projects emphasize high fidelity content and instructional design, personalization, powerful social experiences, high impact student services, sustainability, and scale — which will provide the data needed to develop further enhance our programs and to better support student success.

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Want to learn more? Join the ITL team for a SXSWedu Meet Up and get an inside look at our work across the UT System: http://on.fb.me/1DdWPXC

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