Central to Northland’s success at recruiting, retaining and graduating students, Tucker says, is a strategy focused on catering to the needs of what he calls “marginalized populations.” For that, Tucker says he drew upon established best practices and his academic background in organizational development.
“We call our students ‘customers,’” he says. “Most community colleges don’t do that. As a matter of fact, after their students pay their money, they’re basically just a number.” Not so at Northland.
“What we’re doing,” he says, “is embedding wraparound services with our delivery of technical training. Those wraparound services include assistance with transportation, mental health, food, housing and childcare. Those are the extra resources our customers wouldn’t have access to traditionally.