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Driving Student Success through Nudges

A nudge campaign is a communication strategy that an institution designs for a targeted group of students to achieve a specific, measurable outcome.

Nudges are small pushes in the right direction that do not require prescribed actions, but encourage certain behaviors. When students are presented with a nudge sent from a trusted person at your institution, they have the freedom to make their own choices with information about behaviors we know are more strongly associated with positive persistence and graduation outcomes.

Growth Mindset is the notion that If a student believes that she can overcome challenges over time and with effort, and that her abilities are not fixed, but can grow, she will respond resiliently when challenges arise.


  1. Simple. Although there are many types of actions you can take based on the insights you get from the Civitas Learning Platform, including evaluating a policy or program and creating new support mechanisms for students, contacting students via email, text, and/or phone is a much simpler and faster way of impacting student success. It is a quick and easy way to get started improving persistence on your campus.

  2. Low cost. Sending a growth-mindset based nudge to students is not nearly as expensive as developing a program or initiative for a group of at-risk students. A single person can quickly access a list of students in need of a nudge using Illume or Inspire. It’s a low-risk way to drive student success outcomes.

  3. Effective. Even though communicating with students is a very simple idea and something you are already doing, using predictive insights to target the right students at the right time, and using nudging best practices when crafting your messages can result in measurable increases in student persistence.


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