Inquiry to ImprovementTo their great credit, colleges have embraced the goal of improving student success and completion. Research and experience tell us that deep and lasting improvement hinges on the ability of colleges to forego fragmented and piecemeal reform and fundamentally rethink and redesign their policies, programs and services. Yet unprecedented resource constraints, increased competition and “initiative fatigue” makes navigating this landscape a daunting prospect. Through its Inquiry to Improvement (I2I) process, NCII and its partners CCRC, Public Agenda and JFF bring a team of seasoned, committed professionals to help colleges and state systems make the lasting changes needed to bring about substantial improvements in student success.

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NCII assists colleges and other organizations with all facets of the inquiry to improvement process, including the earlier stages of:

  • Defining a focus of inquiry
  • Synthesizing the current state of knowledge on a topic in the literature and on the ground with site visits and case studies
  • Developing research questions
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Translating data into information, knowledge, and insight

While we complete the above work with a unique practitioner-founded perspective, where NCII really distinguishes itself is in the latter stages of the inquiry to improvement process, which most often trip up improvement efforts. These stages of our work focus on:

  • Transitioning from insight generation to strategy identification
  • Identifying and sequencing implementation stages for increased impact and leverage
  • Providing guidance on the ground during the implementation process
  • Evaluating implementation efforts both formatively, to make mid-course corrections, and summatively, to reflect on entire improvement efforts

Based on this experience and commitment, the I2I team can help colleges and state systems build on successes, accelerate progress on persistent challenges, create a culture of shared ownership for innovation at scale, and learn from national research as well as the experiences of those involved in promising reforms across the country.

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Inquiry to Improvement