Supporting student success from application to graduation

What is Ecological Validation?

It’s rooted in the belief that students come to college with assets, strengths and capabilities to foster their success. Thus, a primary goal of UNK is to nurture and develop those existing qualities to help students reach their full potential.

How it Works

UNK creates strong a foundation of support, surrounding students with the tools they need to be successful.

Creating a Culture of Ecological Validation

Developed through the Promoting At-Promise Student Success (PASS) research project, ecological validation places a great deal of importance on how educators support students.

  • There are 5 norms to guide interactions with students:
    • Holistic: integrates academic and interpersonal support throughout UNK 
    • Proactive: every staff and faculty member actively connects students to resources and networks
    • Strengths-oriented: focuses on students’ cultural assets, talents, skills and successes - not assumed challenges 
    • Identity-conscious: values students’ identities with attention to historically under-served populations
    • Developmental: involves supporting students throughout their educational journeys in a cohesive way from admission through graduation by giving students what they need when they need it
  • There are two norms to guide interactions among campus colleagues:
    • Collaborative: institutional coordination across campus
    • Reflective practice: uses data and personal reflection to assess impact and continually improve