Mitchell Colver, manager and senior data analyst at Utah State University’s Center for Student Analytics, was recently extended an honorary appointment to serve as a visiting scholar at London South Bank University (LSBU). For the next three years, Colver will visit LSBU periodically to assist and provide expertise on research projects.
Colver met Kirsteen Coupar, director of student services at LSBU, while presenting his dissertation research at the international Associate of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE) conference. Coupar was interested in research Colver presented at AMOSSHE that covered a four-year study on the effectiveness of USU’s Connection’s program in regards to student motivation and outcomes, like GPA and retention.
“Collaborating with Mitchell has been an incredibly useful partnership,” said Coupar. “We’ve had the opportunity to extend his research to the UK so we can better understand our students and their beliefs about the purpose of higher education.”
Coupar and Colver teamed up and are currently working on applying Colver’s research at LSBU with the goal of shaping their student services to help make students more successful. Alexander Marchant, senior lecturer in psychology at LSBU, caught word of Colver’s work with Coupar, and extended a formal invitation to serve as a visiting scholar.
“Mitchell has combined his data analysis skills and his knowledge of psychology to provide insights that are data-driven, theory-driven and impactful,” said Marchant. “The data from our ongoing research partnership has already shown similarities in motivational profiles between the student populations at USU and LSBU.”
The research is providing insights into what helps students be successful in higher education, allowing both universities to discover and implement interventions that work to boost student retention, progression, achievement and well-being. In the future, the research will guide USU into how to message to students about the value of higher education, the place of the university in society and the value that an educated person brings to their community.
“Being able to compare our students here at USU to students in the UK has been invaluable,” said Colver. “I am thrilled with their collaboration and appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership with British colleagues who share my same values and dedication to student well-being.”
Manager and Senior Data Analyst
Center for Student Analytics