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Transitions Programs Plus Council: 2014-2017


As Northwestern expanded its recruitment and enrollment of low-socioeconomic status (SES), first generation college, and international students, to offer greater educational opportunities to a broader range of students, the Provost in 2014 created the Transition Programs Plus Council. The Council was a working group that focused on developing a coordinated strategy to support these incoming first-year students’ transition into college and ongoing success.

The Council’s ultimate goal was for each and every Northwestern student to thrive by having equal access to a common set of available experiences, opportunities, and possible outcomes.

The Council was co-led by the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education and the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The membership included program managers of pre-and post-enrollment programs, academic leaders from each undergraduate school, STEM faculty, and staff from Student Affairs, the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions, Information and Analytics, Athletics, the International Office, and the Academic Advising Center. A list of Council members can be found here.

In 2017, leadership in the Provost’s Office and Student Affairs, along with Council members, identified a broader set of student needs that extended beyond the first‐year transition. They recommended an expanded focus encompassing the entire undergraduate lifecycle, which prompted the initiation of the Undergraduate Student Lifecycle project.

Council Priorities


Coordinate pre-and post-enrollment transition programs and other student transition initiatives


Support program enhancements by making recommendations on changes or expansion, and coordinate plans for attendant resource requests


Develop a shared assessment framework to gauge effectiveness of pre-and post-enrollment programs. Utilize longitudinal data to identify strengths and gaps in supporting student academic and social integration.


Address both curricular and co-curricular needs


Share data and provide continued education about trends, research, and theory related to underrepresented or other students who may be facing academic challenges.

Council Highlights

The Council has acted on its priorities across the following dimensions which directly impact the Northwestern student experience and/or enable the Council to identify future priorities:

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