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IMPACTful Thought - Student Success in Data Science

By Evan Evans posted 07-04-2022 12:10:12

Author: Rachel Saidi

In looking broadly at student success, one can define it based on outcomes, principles, and practices. Joe Cuseo of Marymount College wrote a column, “The Big Picture,” in Esource for College Transitions, which was published by the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience & Students in Transition (2007). Cuseo defined student success in terms of the following:

Student Retention (Persistence): Entering college students remain, re-enroll, and continue their undergraduate education.

Educational Attainment: entering students persist to completion and attainment of their degree, program, or educational goal.

Academic Achievement: students achieve satisfactory or superior levels of academic performance as they progress through and complete their college experience.

Student Advancement: students proceed to and succeed at subsequent educational and occupational endeavors for which their college degree or program was designed to prepare them.

Holistic Development: students develop as “whole persons” as they progress through and complete their college experience. This outcome consists of multiple dimensions, which may be defined or described as follows:

  •       Intellectual Development: developing skills for acquiring and communicating knowledge, learning how to learn, and how to think deeply.
  •       Emotional Development: developing skills for understanding, controlling, and expressing emotions.
  •       Social Development: enhancing the quality and depth of interpersonal relationships, leadership skills, and civic engagement.
  •       Ethical Development: formulating a clear value system that guides life choices and demonstrates personal character. - Physical Development: acquiring and applying knowledge about the human body to prevent disease, maintain wellness, and promote peak performance.
  •       Spiritual Development: appreciating the search for personal meaning, the purpose of human existence, and questions that transcend the material or physical world.


Student success in any data science program will be determined by each school’s answers to questions about topics related to pedagogy, goals and academic achievement, support, training and recruiting, and external partnerships and student experiences. The way each individual school answers these questions will help define student success within that program.


This month, we will attempt to explore student success in data science in the context of the categories described above. Whether you have a data science program at your school or you are considering creating one, we hope you will participate in our exploration this month.