Western Oregon University one of 10 institutions selected for national program focused on learner success

WOU sign at the front of campus, glossy black with gold lettering, greenery behind it. Campus appears wet from rain.

Western Oregon University (WOU) is one of 10 institutions selected to participate in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) inaugural Learner Success Laboratory (LSL).

LSL is part of a suite of Transformation Labs offered by ACE to guide colleges and universities through a structured strategic planning process to advance critical institutional priorities. Participants will work over a period of 12-18 months to integrate evidence-based practices for persistence and completion, life design and career exploration, and workforce skills development, ultimately producing a comprehensive strategy for learner success. The pilot cohort will begin work in October 2020 and is supported by a grant from the Strada Education Network.

“As Western Oregon University evolves to serve a changing population of students, we seek to be intentional about supporting all of our students as whole persons,” said Sue Monahan, associate provost for program development. “With the ACE Learner Success Lab, we are eager to explore how our students’ experiences at WOU—in and outside the classroom—can be woven together so that all students graduate from WOU prepared for, and confident in, their futures.”

WOU has numerous initiatives that support ACE’s goals for the LSL program, which include the Bilingual Scholars Program, Strong Start, Willamette Promise, and the university’s emerging status as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Institutions in the cohort serve approximately 67,000 undergraduate learners in total and comprise a diverse range of two- and four-year, public and private institutions, and several current or emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions. The other institutions in the inaugural cohort are Elon University, Iowa State University, Labouré College, Massasoit Community College, Richard Bland College of William & Mary, Southeast Missouri State University, Union Institute & University, University of Hawaii-West Oahu, and Windward Community College.

“This is an important time to take action to further learner success, especially for post-traditional and traditionally underserved learners who are our new majority,” said Lindsey Myers, director of the Learner Success Lab. “As higher education reshapes itself in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions in the Learner Success Lab can leverage this opportunity to align their resources and build strategies that center and empower learners.”

About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 5,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

 

About American Council on Education

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

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