Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Herbert Exum, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Liliana Campos-Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Day, Ph.D.


academic progress, academic case management, collaborative evaluation, academic outcomes, higher education success


Many universities have implemented initiatives designed to address first year retention and persistence. Various prevention and support programs, including summer bridge programs, TRIO and Student Support Services, have been funded for the primary purpose of improving the outcomes of underserved populations. Although these initiatives and programs have been somewhat impactful, higher education leadership continues to seek ways to improve the outcomes of students at their institutions. Graduation outcomes continue to be a challenge for higher education leaders and researchers alike. Talbert (2012) states “Strong communication and cooperation between academic departments, learning support, student services, and federally funded programs is paramount for realizing the best possible student outcomes.” Given the current climate of budget cuts in education, understanding how colleges and universities can effectively address the factors that influence student persistence is key to determining how best to increase graduation rates as well as to decrease the significant gaps that exist between Black and White students.

The student success case management model, the focus of this program evaluation, was implemented at a large research-intensive university located in the southeastern United States. The results of this evaluation indicate the stakeholders believe that the model has been implemented effectively. Although the stakeholders acknowledge the model’s effectiveness, they recognize that there are areas for improvement. Most specifically, they cited the need for better integrated technology systems to allow increased efficiency, increased clarity of roles and responsibilities throughout the university, further review of institutional policies and systems that may impose barriers for diverse students and unique situations and strengthened partnerships and services representative of a more unified campus-wide culture of care.