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Comprehensive Student Success Program

The Comprehensive Student Success Program (CSSP) was a part of the THECB College Access Challenge Grant, funded by the United States Department of Education. The purpose of the CSSP was to improve student success in postsecondary institutions.

Pilot projects began in April 2011, targeting data-driven student support interventions and enhanced faculty training to increase student completion and success rates in entry-level, gatekeeper courses. Institutions identified courses with high non-completion rates for intervention. Grantees integrated research-based practices into these courses and institutional policies and practices to increase student persistence and success through targeted interventions. Institutions also implemented early alert systems and provided training to assist faculty in improving their instructional practices. Upon award, grantees were eligible for up to five years of funding, depending on sites meeting project expectations and availability of funds.

In the final year of grant funding, four CSSP institutions produced online toolkits to demonstrate how to implement student success strategies and best practices they had developed during the project period. Toolkits are free to be used and shared for wider dissemination so that any institution or partner can access and replicate effective student success strategies and practices. Toolkits can be accessed at the following links:

  1. North Central Texas College
  2. Texas Woman's University
  3. University of Houston
  4. University of Houston-Downtown


  • Austin Community College expanded a supplemental instruction model and added counseling services that were more responsive to the institution's early alert system (2011-2014).
  • Central Texas College focused on efforts to train faculty advisors and provide centralized tutoring services for students in the targeted courses (2011-2012).
  • Houston Community College integrated student administration, learning management, advising and early alert systems to streamline and improve the effectiveness of student support services (2011-2014).
  • North Central Texas College's primary innovation was the integration of discipline-specific college skills curricula into targeted courses with additional contact hours (2011-2015).
  • Texas Woman's University developed individual success plans to guide students to supplemental instruction, tutoring, academic advising, and mentoring services through a collaborative early alert system (2012-2015).
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce implemented use of a competency-based exam and problem-based learning, technology and supplemental instruction for first-year math courses (2012-2014).
  • University of Houston supported recitation sessions for freshman biology courses for both majors and non-majors with expanded advising, enhanced curricular engagement, and faculty-led student engagement opportunities (2012-2015).
  • University of Houston-Downtown supported "Faculty Communities of Practice" to guide professional development, curricular improvements and linked learning strategies seminars for students at risk of non-completion (2011-2015).
  • University of Texas-Pan American targeted Algebra and Chemistry gatekeeper courses with individualized academic coaching, improved pedagogy, faculty mentoring, and in-class peer instructional support (2012-2014).

For additional information, contact the CSSP.

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