Lynn Murray-Chandler, Danielle Lake and David Humphreys
This session shares stories and strategies from an ongoing systemic design process seeking to improve retention, persistence, and a sense of belonging across one liberal arts university campus. Facilitators will highlight how they have integrated principles and strategies from Design Thinking, Liberatory Design, systems thinking, and the latest research on retention and belonging to transform policies, processes, and practices, build relationships and shift campus culture. This session will also detail how the initiative intentionally integrates recommendations for scaling deep and harnessing participatory action research practices to assess the value and limitations of the approach in “real time.” As an ongoing case study, we conclude by highlighting roadblocks and challenges for designing complex social systems change with faculty, staff, and students. We review methods and tools, discuss their relevance, and explore how they might adapt strategies to their unique context.
Keywords: mental health, relationship-rich education, systemic design, scale, persistence, engagement, retention