Student Success Advisory Council


SREB Student Success Advisory Council

The SREB Student Success Advisory Council is identifying challenges, shared interests, and recommended policy and practice to support the retention, graduation and career entry of students historically underserved in postsecondary education.

The goal: Help states achieve greater rates of postsecondary success, particularly for students from low-income families or rural communities, for Black, Hispanic and Native American students, and for those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Success for these students is a critical factor in meeting workforce demands and building a stronger economy.

Members include leaders from colleges and universities, state-level postsecondary agencies and state legislatures.

The SREB Student Success Advisory Council is supported with funding from the Ascendium Education Group and ETS Global Higher Education.



Jim Purcell, Executive Director
Alabama Commission on Higher Education 

Cynthia Anthony, President 
Lawson State Community College 

Taffye Benson-Clayton, Associate Provost and Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity
Auburn University 


Heather Reed, Director of Student Retention Initiatives
University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Naomi Nash, Director of Student Success Initiatives
University of Delaware


Shouping Hu, Director, Center for Postsecondary Success 
Florida State University 


Jonathan Hull, Director, Student Success  
University System of Georgia  

Naomi Norman, Interim Director, Division of Academic Enhancement and Associate Vice President for Instruction
University of Georgia

Freddie Powell-Sims, State Senator  
Georgia General Assembly


Lilly Massa-McKinley, Executive Director, Student Success Collaborative
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Steve Riley, State Representative  
Kentucky General Assembly

Kirsten Turner, Vice President for Student Success and Chief Student Affairs Officer
University of Kentucky


Melva Williams, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management 
Southern University at Shreveport 


Emily Dow, Assistant Secretary for Academic Affairs 
Maryland Higher Education Commission  


Ontario Wooden, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs  
Alcorn State University  

Katie McBride, Director, Center for Student Success 
University of Southern Mississippi 

North Carolina

Tracey Ford, Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Bethany Meighen, Vice President, Student Affairs
University of North Carolina System   

Farrah Jackson Ward, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 
Elizabeth City State University  


Colbi Beam, Coordinator for Academic Affairs and K-12 & Postsecondary Student Success Initiatives
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Kyle Foster, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 

Ruth Ray Jackson, Vice President for Academic Affairs 
Langston University 

South Carolina

Daphne Holland, Associate Vice President for Student Success Initiatives
Coastal Carolina University

Denver Malcom-Key, Director, Academic Success Center 
Claflin University 

Rusty Monhollon, President and Executive Director 
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education 


Brittany Mosby, Director, HBCU Success  
Tennessee Higher Education Commission  


Robin Garrett, Deputy Chancellor, Academic and Student Success 
Central Texas College


Peter Blake, Director
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Mamie Lock, State Senator  
Virginia General Assembly 

Michelle Steiner, Assistant Vice President for Student Success
Marymount University

West Virginia

Randall Brumfield, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission 

Publication November 2022 | 24 pages
report cover

Priorities for Raising College Student Success in the South
Report of the SREB Student Success Advisory Council

The report of SREB’s Student Success Advisory Council offers 10 recommendations to improve the success of students in postsecondary education, particularly those from demographic groups that have been underrepresented in higher education historically. After examining the challenges of affording college, navigating and persisting to graduation, and beginning a career, the report outlines specific ideas for both states and postsecondary institutions.


Elements of Student Success
Student Success Advisory Council Focus Areas

SREB’s Student Success Advisory Council will focus on these elements in 2022.

Affordability and financial aid

What does it mean for college to be affordable? And what are the best ways for state leaders and colleges to make a difference?

SREB’s Student Success Advisory Council explored measures of affordability in March 2022 on proven, promising and innovative strategies to: 

  • Lower the burden of college costs for low- and middle-income students.
  • Inform students and families about the true costs of college and the value of getting a degree. Guide students toward degree paths of value that align with their skills and interests.
  • Support students so they complete their degrees at a faster rate.

Wrap-around/case management services for mentoring and other resources

Academic and career advising

Academic programming and credentials