frontier set november 2018 newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Letter from the Editors
  • Webinar: Frontier Set site visits and the use of the Institutional Transformation Assessment Tool
  • Virtual Table Talk: Low Tech / High Touch . . . We can do that!
  • Working Groups: Student Success Technologies 2.0, and Communication Audit Groups
  • Reminders & News

Letter from the Editors

We’re feeling that telescoping-of-time phenomenon, as we hurtle into November.  Many in higher ed remark that from the start of Thanksgiving week right through the end of the semester, everything is one big blur.  We’re trying to be very respectful of your schedules.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been very interested in the Frontier Set feedback on the Institutional Transformation Assessment (ITA) tool.  Many changes have been made and it will continue to be improved and used going forward, within and beyond the Frontier Set. The Foundation is excited to share this progress with you in a webinar (Frontier Set site visits and the use of the Institutional Transformation Assessment Tool, Friday, November 16, 1:00pm ET) to walk through the updates and to entertain Q&A.

If you missed the webinar on 11/1, Learning Log reflections will be transforming into quarterly dashboard submission; read below and on the Platform for more details, and check in with your Intermediary.

We will host a Table Talk the first week of December on digital services transformation with Hans VanDerSchaaf and Randi Harris from PSU.   Low Tech / High Touch . . . We can do that! will discuss student-centered design and a human-centered approach to digital services that focuses on removing barriers. The Table Talk will be held December 4, at 2:00pm ET.  Register below.

We send you best wishes for a strong push through November, into the end of the fall semester.  We’re excited about the Frontier Set work ahead . . . stay tuned for more details!

Victoria, Gila, Lisa, and KD


Frontier Set site visits and the use of the Institutional Transformation Assessment Tool
Date: November 16, 1-2:00pm ET
Presenters: Patrick Rossol-Allison and Hyunjun Kim, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Target Audience: Frontier Set Core Teams
Description: In their message to Frontier Set site leads, foundation program officers Patrick Rossol-Allison and Hyunjun Kim explain the role site visits play in the Frontier Set, share updates about the Institutional Transformation Assessment tool (ITA), and invite you to an upcoming ITA update webinar.  The link to join the webinar is here ( The webinar will also be recorded for those who aren’t able to make it and will be posted on the Education Community platform at

Join the Webinar Here

Virtual Table Talks

Low Tech / High Touch . . . We can do that!
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2:00pm (ET)
Target Audience: Frontier Set faculty, administrators and staff
Host: Hans VanDerSchaaf and Randi Harris, Portland State University
Description: Digital services can go a long way toward removing barriers and promoting access to higher education.  However, if the human element is not carefully considered, students may feel little connection to their institution and encounter friction points that hinder success.  Following on some great insights from the Code for America Summit, Portland State University is taking next steps to improve digital services by focusing on user-based approaches that bring student needs front and center. Please join us for some early stage dialogue about digital services and student success technology!

Register here


Working Groups

Student Success Technologies 2.0
The last of the Student Success Technologies 2.0 virtual working groups with Sarah Zauner of The Ada Center will be happening November 9th: Student Mobile Apps for Navigating College. If you’re signed up, don’t forget to attend – these workshops have been highly rated by participants.

You can find working group descriptions and registration information here. Registration is limited to the first 15 people who sign up and registration closes 10 days prior to each event.  Seats are going quickly, so be sure to register now to ensure your place in these exciting conversations!

Communication Audit Groups
Participating sites are continuing their work with Laurie Fladd, from Achieving the Dream, aiming to wrap up their action plans by the end of the semester.  The broader Frontier Set community will be looking forward to hearing more about what you’ve learned.

Reminders & News

New Quarterly Learning Logs/Reflection
As part of the webinar on 11/1, Intermediaries described a new dashboard tool for sites, the reflective portion of which will replace Learning Logs. All sites can expect to receive their dashboard templates complete with data by 11/15. The next site learning log submission will use the new dashboard and will be due 12/18.  Log into the Platform to find the recording of the webinar, as well as the slide deck and tools shared, and expect to hear more from your Intermediary.

Working Together for Equitable Student Outcomes: The State of the Frontier Set report was released at the end of October (see here for the website, where you can find the report itself, and the video; the ToolKit is available on the Platform).  Your Intermediaries will be having conversations with you about targeted strategies to use the report to reach key stakeholders and further your completion initiatives.

Frontier Set Annual Convening 2019 – Reserve the date on your calendars!
Be sure to hold March 3-5, 2019 on your calendars for the next Frontier Set Annual Convening.  Next year’s all-site gathering will be held at the J.W. Marriott Houston. It will begin with a welcome reception in the evening on Sunday, March 3, 2019 and will continue with engaging sessions and networking opportunities through the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Information about the target audience, programming, travel, and logistics will be forthcoming.


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