Texas Student Success Program Inventory Frequently Asked Questions

The following document contains frequently asked questions our team has received about Texas Student Success Program Inventory. If you have additional questions or need assistance with the inventory, we welcome you to contact us at sspi@highered.texas.gov.

What is the Texas Student Success Program Inventory?

The Texas Student Success Program Inventory is a searchable database of student success programs and initiatives at Texas institutions. The inventory is part of OERTX, a site developed and overseen by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which is a public digital library of open educational resources for Texas higher education. 

Who is the inventory for and what is its purpose?

Student success professionals are the primary audience for the inventory. Designed to help the state meet the goals of its strategic plan, the inventory makes best practices for student success programs publicly accessible to assist new and existing programs enhance their services.

Which institutions can be featured in the inventory? 

Public and independent (i.e., private) not-for-profit institutions can feature programs in the inventory. 

Will vocational and technical schools be included in the inventory?

Currently, the inventory only contains information about programs at not-for-profit public and private, or independent, institutions. While we cannot say at this time if or when vocational or technical institutions will be included in the inventory, the THECB is committed to growing and developing this resource to serve the needs of Texans, therefore these institutions may be included in the inventory in the future.

How do you define “student success program”?

We consider student success to be a multi-faceted end goal that is dependent upon students' core objectives for pursuing higher education as well as meeting key indicators institutions use to assess the educational experience. Within this multifaceted end goal, we prioritize objectives associated with the goals set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Building a Talent Strong Texas 2022-2030 Strategic Plan and seek to highlight programming that is highly innovative or impactful. Please consider this guidance before submitting programs from you institution: 

A. Goals: A student success program is likely designed to improve at least one of the following areas for students: 
●    Academic Performance (i.e., student grades or student learning)
●    Affordability of Credential Attainment (including in ways that are beyond providing students with scholarships or other typical state and federal financial aid)
●    Credential Attainment/Graduation
●    College Access
●    Post-Completion Outcomes (e.g., obtaining employment, continuing education, career advancement, economic development)
●    Retention/Persistence
●    Social Development & Well-being (e.g., belonging, building social networks, developing soft skills, mental health)
B. Practices: A student success program likely employs at least one of these practices: 
●    Academic goal setting and planning
●    Accelerated or fast-track developmental education
●    Alert and intervention/Proactive advising
●    Alleviating financial strain
●    Basic needs assessment and provision (e.g., food, childcare)
●    Career planning
●    Cultural competence training for faculty and staff
●    Experiential learning beyond the classroom (e.g., internships)
●    Learning community
●    Mentorship
●    Orientation/Onboarding
●    Student success course/skill building
●    Supplemental Instruction
●    Teaching effectiveness training/professional development for faculty and staff
●    Tutoring

How is the inventory organized and how can I search it effectively?

The inventory features numerous collections, which group programs together by shared themes, such as whether they offer career planning or serve adult learners. You can find these collections in the “Student Success Programs” section of the inventory homepage.

We have also created collections for each institution that features programs in the inventory. You can find links to these collections in the map embedded in the “Student Success Programs by Institution” section of the inventory homepage.

 Programs in the inventory are sorted into collections through keyword tags, which identify key components or features of the program. You can see the keyword tags applied to a program in the Tags field on the bottom right hand side of the program page (see an example here). If you click on a keyword tag, it will show you every program in the inventory that applied that tag. Not all tags have their own collection on the inventory homepage, so we recommend that you pay special attention to the Tags field when reviewing a program page and searching for specific types of programs. For the full list of the keyword tags associated with the inventory, see the Keyword Glossary.

To search for programs featured in the Texas Student Success Program Inventory, use the search bar in the banner image of the homepage that says, "Search hub resources". This search bar will automatically limit your search to the inventory. If you wish to see a complete list of programs featured in the inventory, simply click the magnifying glass in this search box. 

We recommend that you do not click on the magnifying glass in the blue banner at the top of your screen to search for student success programs, as those search results will include OERTX resources that are not affiliated with the Texas Student Success Program Inventory, such as lesson plans and course syllabi.

How can I add my program to the inventory?

We accept program submissions for a limited time each year. When we are accepting new program submissions, we will notify all eligible institutions and post information about how to submit your program on the homepage of the inventory. 

What does it mean to a “program author” in the inventory?

Every student success program page in the inventory has someone from that institution designated as the program’s author. You can find the program page author listed publicly on the program page. Authors are the THECB’s point of contact for that program and are responsible for ensuring that the program page in the inventory stays up to date. All authors are expected to be members of the TX SSPI Authors group on the inventory. Authors are required to review their program page at least once a year to determine if any updates to the page are needed. 

Do any other states have a similar tool?

The National Institute for Student Success, housed at Georgia State University, recently released its Accelerator tool. This tool is similar to the Texas Student Success Program Inventory, but its focus is on sharing best practices, course materials, and research on student success rather than highlighting specific programs. 

Why is there a comment feature on the program pages?

Inventory users are able to comment on the program pages, but we discourage the use of that feature. If you would like to connect with others about a program page, we instead encourage you to contact that program directly.

There is an option to give programs a rating of 1 to 5 stars. Should I rate programs? Can you remove that feature from my program page?

This feature is built into the OERTX platform and therefore cannot be disabled. The ratings do not apply to the inventory and inventory users are discouraged from using this feature because once a rating is given, it cannot be removed.