Program Format and Content

The Student Success Institute (SSI) for Provosts, Associate/Vice Provosts, and Vice Presidents for Student Affairs will provide the most current and relevant expertise on promising practices in student success, leadership, data and assessment, teaching and learning, and equity. Throughout the in-person and virtual program, fellows will have the opportunity to build a strong and supportive network of peers, learn from leading experts in the field, and develop a core set of critical skills necessary for leading institutional change. A key feature of the program is structured time and space to reflect on and advance one’s own student success plan with a small group of peers.

Group of collaborators

Program Features and Benefits

The Student Success Institute (SSI) for Provosts, Associate/Vice Provosts, and Vice Presidents for Student Affairs is designed for individuals at AASCU member institutions with at least one year of experience in their role. During this seven-month, blended (in-person and virtual) experience, fellows will explore topics pertinent to the role of the provost in ensuring equitable student success.

Throughout the program, fellows will:

  • Learn from leading experts in the field. Program speakers will include sitting presidents and experienced provosts, as well as national experts in areas such as leadership, student success, and data utilization. 
  • Develop critical skills necessary for leading institutional change. Fellows will learn about key leadership skills and have opportunities to practically apply them to their work via a student success plan.
  • Build a strong and supportive network of peers. Throughout the program, there will be multiple opportunities for fellows to work together, in small groups and one-to-one settings, developing a group of trusted colleagues who can be called upon after the program is over. 
  • Have opportunities for reflection. Through guided discussions, short reflection prompts, small group discussions, and other activities, fellows will have valuable time to engage in thoughtful reflection about their own assumptions and practices.
  • Build a portfolio of source material. Throughout the program, fellows will be given space and structure to collect and organize curricular materials to share at their institutions or to keep as reference following the conclusion of the program.

Program Outcomes

Provosts, Associate/Vice Provosts, and Vice Presidents for Student Affairs who participate in the SSI will …

  • be able to assess and develop their leadership styles to more effectively drive positive change at their institutions.
  • deepen their understanding of student success practices and further develop their skills to effectively implement promising practices.
  • understand the specific roles data play and how to leverage data to increase and accelerate student success initiatives at their institutions.
  • understand and be able to articulate the critical role of teaching and learning and supporting faculty development for equitable student success.
  • critically reflect on their own implicit biases and build their skills to become equity conscious leaders.

Program Format and Calendar

The SSI will be a blended experience, with both in-person and virtual programming. One hundred percent attendance is expected.

  • Program Onboarding (virtual): January 2023
  • In-Person Meeting (Washington, D.C.): Feb. 7-9, 2023
    • Programming will begin at noon ET on Feb. 7 and conclude by 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 9
  • Workshop One and Small Group One (virtual): March 2023
  • Workshop Two and Small Group Two (virtual): April 2023
  • Workshop Three and Small Group Three (virtual): June 2023
  • Closing gathering scheduled in conjunction with the AASCU 2023 Academic Affairs Summer Meeting (Baltimore): July 18 –19, 2023

Virtual programming will take place on select Fridays (exact dates TBD) between 2 and 4 p.m. ET. Workshops will be two hours in length and small group discussions will be one hour in length.

In addition to the above meetings, all SSI participants will apply their learnings to a self-directed student success plan.

All attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend AASCU in-person meetings.

Additional Information and FAQ

  • Can more than one individual from an institution attend?
    • Yes, institutions are welcome to send a team comprising of the Provost, Associate/Assistant Provost, and/or the VP for Student Affairs
  • What is the cost of participation?
    • $3,500 for AASCU members
    • $4,500 for non-members
    • Limited scholarship funding may be available for AASCU members upon request. Please contact Sara Gassman with questions regarding program fees and scholarship availability.
  • I'm not sure I can fully commit to the program dates. Should I apply? 
    • One of the primary goals of this program is to create a lasting and supportive community of provosts, associate/vice provosts, and vice presidents for student affairs committed to advancing student success. Full participation in and in-between sessions will contribute to the development of this robust community. If you have concerns about your capacity to fully commit to the experience, please contact Sara Gassman, program manager, leadership development, AASCU to discuss your concerns.
  • What is the cancellation policy?
    • Cancellations after the program begins will be managed on a case-by-case basis as per AASCU's cancellation policy.
  • I have other questions. Who can I reach out to?
    • Please contact Sara Gassman, program manager, leadership development, AASCU to discuss any additional questions or concerns.

I have been part of other programs for provosts and academic leaders, but the Student Success Institute was different. It has not only provided a great forum for discussing the most current and relevant topics in higher education, but the discussions were among leaders who fully understand student success and related issues from the perspective of regional comprehensive institutions. The speakers brought in a wealth of ideas that are significant and practical and the program staff was flexible, courteous and understanding of the unexpected demands a provost's job can impose. I am glad to have been part of this professional development opportunity.


Mohamed Abdelrahman

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Texas A&M University–San Antonio

I recommend this program to any provost interested in expanding their knowledge of student success. The program was designed to assist those relatively new to the best practices as well as those with experience in the student success area. While the meetings were held virtually, the team put together a remarkable mix of events that allowed the cohort to work collaboratively and share their respective experiences. I came away not only with more knowledge but with a greater sense of how important the work we as provosts do each day in this area.


Steven J. Berberich

Provost and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Leading the academic enterprise during the pandemic has been challenging and forcing institutions to rethink student and faculty success strategies. The AASCU / SOVA leadership program is an excellent professional development opportunity for chief academic officers. The speaker lineup of provosts, presidents and subject matter experts who presented on best practices were very insightful. Some notable program takeaways for me included first year student success strategies, equity centered leadership, and prioritization frameworks for assessing the ROI of academic programs. The networking opportunity and discussions with other provosts also helped me understand a variety of institutional perspectives.


Ravi Krovi

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Weber State University (UT)

The opportunity for structured learning included national higher education leaders and technical experts, networking opportunities, discussions and assignments with experienced chief academic officers, as well as a focus on the role of data in institutional transformation, periodic readings and reflections after each session over a seven-month period. The intentional focus on being equity-minded and building culturally-responsive ecosystems to improve student outcomes made the institute a truly unique learning experience. I felt like I went back to graduate school!

Peter O. Nwosu

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success, City University of New York, Lehman College

The AASCU Student Success Institute offers an opportunity to collaborate, reflect, and improve with a nationwide group of academic leaders. The takeaways are specific, actionable, and effective. As a result of my experience with SSI, I became a better advocate for public higher education, a more effective activist for student success, and a more knowledgeable and self-aware supporter of antiracism and equity. In other words, I became a better leader. Perhaps best of all, I now have a network of friends and colleagues that I can rely on for friendship, problem-solving, and authentic reflection.


Stacey Robertson

President, Widener University (PA)

Participating in the Student Success Institute and having the opportunity to engage in such transformational discussions related to my leadership role at my university was an absolute pleasure. I found the subjects to be innovative, forward-thinking, and of extreme relevance to my work as the chief academic officer. This leadership-building initiative proved to be extremely valuable as I was able to expand my network and learn from the experiences of so many experts. It is my hope that this initiative continues to grow and help future leaders have a positive impact on the generations of tomorrow.


Maria Woodside-Oriakhi

Vice President of Academic Affairs, The University of The Bahamas

How to Apply

The application period for the 2023 SSI cohort is now closed. Click here to sign up to be notified for the next cohort.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All. Visit for more information.