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Tackling Tough Problems: Part II

In an earlier blog, Tackling Tough Problems: Part I, we discussed the value of tackling the problems no one else wants. Being the one to solve a difficult puzzle can be a real professional boost for any higher education staff member. But where to start?

Pile of puzzle pieces representing tough problems.

Finding the Tough Problems

One of the most difficult “nuts to crack” in higher education is student success. Consider what is keeping certain groups of students at your institution from being successful graduates.

  • Are there student groups at your institution that are not performing as well as they should?
  • Are other students faring much better than expected?
  • If you can focus supports and attention on students who could most benefit from those initiatives, could improvements in their completion rates help raise the overall graduation rates of the institution?

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How can you look at the problem differently? Check out our blog series on how to be seen as an innovator as well as the series on cross-functional team management. Having data at your fingertips which identifies the varying completion rates of specific student groups, along with an assessment of how those rates compare to what was expected of each student group would be an invaluable addition to this conversation. RealityCheck can give you those answers.

Want to Learn More?

Find out more about RealityCheck by contacting IEHE. We’d love to chat with you about how you can:

  • Use your RealityCheck Report to understand what you’re getting right, and where you have room for improvement.
  • Focus your institution’s limited resources on students who can benefit most from the support.
  • Show others the evidence that your team is making a difference in student success.
  • Better tell your institution’s student success story.



The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education (IEHE) innovates and improves higher education standards through our strategic research, publicly available resources, and partnerships with colleges and universities. We provide extensive expertise on data strategy, IPEDS, institutional research and student success to drive institutional effectiveness.