A Quest for Success: How Technology and Data Transformed Middle Tennessee State University


Middle Tennessee State University's (MTSU) transformation journey began in 2013 with the establishment of the Office of Student Success and the release of Quest for Student Success, the institution’s strategic plan for improving retention and completion. Each of the nine colleges had separate advising offices, resulting in student advising experiences that were inconsistent. Quest for Student Success defined the ideal student advising experience and implemented new processes to ensure consistent delivery across the nine colleges.

The institution’s initial success led to MTSU’s being selected for a second round of funding for advising redesign from the Advising Success Network. Leaders focused on enhancing the university’s predictive analytics work, tracking referrals to academic supports, and tailoring the approach to degree planning. As is the case with all successful technology initiatives in a college environment, implementation was first focused on use and adoption by primary users, with an emphasis on creating a culture where the utilization of technology platforms was the expectation, not an option. Once technology platforms were implemented, the attention shifted to their application, and deans and other leaders at the unit level developed strategies leading to improvements across the entire institution.

This case study includes the lessons learned to bring success to all students at MTSU.

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