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Student Involvement

Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools


Strategy a: Provide meaningful opportunities for student involvement and leadership in areas such as new student orientations, program evaluation and governance, civic participation, and building connections to the community.


Build Motivation by Building Learner Participation
Barbara Garner
Students in Seattle’s Goodwill Learning Program build skills and investment by participating in program decision-making such as hiring staff hiring and setting organizational policy, suggesting courses, and facilitating all-school meetings.

Next Step Up Program Supports Student Leadership
Lindy Whiton
Opportunities to take on new responsibilities or play a leadership role can help students persist. Greenfield Community College’s College Success transitions class focuses on creating these opportunities through projects, conference presentations, and work study, and its students are experiencing success.

A Night to Dream, in “Making It Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project”
Erin McNally
A description of a powerful program event where immigrant adults are invited to think about their life dreams and hear from peers about how they've met theirs.

Power, Literacy and Motivation
Greg Hart
Pima County Adult Education approaches literacy as a tool for civic action and greater personal and community power. Its students have developed sophisticated literacy skills as they’ve analyzed public documents, planned meetings with officials, and prepared presentations. Motivation and persistence are strong for those who participate in program activities.

Students Helping Students by Getting Involved
Bruce Larson
This is the voice of one student whose persistence is affected when he volunteers to run a summer reading group for his peers.

Student Leadership
Field Notes, Spring 2007
This issue of the Massachusetts adult education newsletter provides a wide array of examples of how students can provide leadership inside and beyond adult education programs. Articles describe student councils, civics projects, community education efforts, students becoming staff, and a host of other possibilities that build students’ enthusiasm, investment, and persistence in programs.

Student-Run Open House Helps Recruitment
Babo Kamel
At this college transitions program, students plan and run an open house to recruit and orient new students. This has increased enrollment and served to develop confidence, leadership, and success among the hosting students.


Student Leadership Materials
Massachusetts SABES
This is a valuable set of resources for developing student leadership and for assessing a program’s attention to student involvement and decision-making. Specific guidance for developing student leadership groups, such as councils, is included.