Student Success: A Team Effort

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Our Member Exclusive report Tackling the Retention Challenge: Defining and Delivering a Unique Student Experience emphasizes the importance of achieving a broad alignment of academic and student support services, rather than trusting to isolated, one-off retention initiatives. Yet there are often organizational and cultural barriers that keep efforts within student affairs and academic affairs separated and siloed.

This week, we asked James Cook, co-editor (with Christopher Lewis) of the book Student and Academic Affairs Collaboration: The Divine Comity (NASPA, 2007) and past vice president of student services at Laramie County Community College, to identify some of the most difficult and pervasive barriers to effective partnerships across these divisions. Cook also suggests some tips for breaking down those barriers.

What Gets in the Way

Cook notes five barriers that represent the most significant -- and difficult to address -- obstacles to effective coordination of academic and student support services:

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