• Cutting Edge

How universities are using data to boost students’ well-being

As student success continues to be a top priority for higher education IT leaders, an initiative from Butler University’s Institute for Well-Being is giving institutions actionable data on how students are doing.

The assessment, called the Student Well-Being and Institutional Support Survey, was created by Bridget Yuhas, a co-executive director of the institute. Yuhas says the project is designed to reveal the meaning behind data.

“Data is great, but it doesn’t do anybody any good if it’s just sitting on a shelf somewhere,” Yuhas says. “Being able to help folks implement data and take data-informed action in their day-to-day work is something I’m really jazzed about.”

Yuhas’ survey has been conducted at more than 20 universities since 2020, expanding data collection beyond the Indianapolis private school.

“It took off in a way that I wasn’t expecting,” Yuhas says. “It was really intended only to be used at Butler in the beginning, and then it just expanded, which is a wonderful thing because we know from other research that as student well-being increases, other really good outcomes for students and institutions increase.”

Yuhas says she’s looking to expand the survey to additional institutions and continue to provide guidance on how to apply the insights gleaned from the assessment. 

“We’re trying to really support [students] holistically and not just say, ‘Oh, well-being happens in the health center, it happens in the counseling center,’” Yuhas says. “I would love to help more campuses think about intervening in student experience via well-being, because I think it’s going to be something that both students and campuses see as a win-win when we devote some more resources and attention.”

Yuhas is a winner of a 2022 EdScoop 50 Award.

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Cutting Edge

Every two weeks, the Cutting EDge Podcast will bring you the latest in higher education technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending topics in depth and highlight news across the campus IT landscape. Each episode will feature conversations with top executives across higher education on things like hybrid learning, emerging technology, cybersecurity and modernization.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop & EdScoop at Scoop News Group. Williams has spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins-and-outs of state and local government as well as higher education. Williams started his journalism career in regional journalism in his native Pennsylvania, and also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.