Our Approach

There is no single way to ensure improved outcomes for students in the areas of learning, completion, post-graduate employment and equity for the underserved. Bringing about significant and continual improvement in student outcomes requires a comprehensive approach incorporating promising evidence-based strategies from the field, contextualized by the unique challenges and strengths of individual colleges.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program focuses on building capacity for transformational change at the institutional level through leadership development and practice reform, as well as across the field through practice-focused research, convening, and knowledge dissemination. Together with our partners and supporters, we take a four-pronged approach to advancing transformational change. 
Rigorously analyze student success data as well as the practices of colleges that achieve strong and improving levels of student success.
Recognize and broadly disseminate what high-achieving and improving institutions do.
Develop new knowledge, tools, and processes to support improved student outcomes.
Assist leaders and colleges in using the tools and processes we develop with our strategic partners.
  • Explore the breadth of work we do to support improved student outcomes.
    Through research, the development of tools and other materials, and highly visible programs like the Aspen Prize, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship, and Siemens Technical Scholars, Aspen’s College Excellence Program works to help improve college student success.