A confluence of social, technical, economic, and other factors have created the demand for improvement and change in U.S. postsecondary education. Many of the drivers for change are quite prominent, and include access to postsecondary education, cost, and students’ success. At the same time, many innovations are taking place, including numerous new modes of delivery, access, and instruction.
However, education outcomes are influenced at the micro level, where incredible variation among advisors, teachers, students, and methods leads to a process which is systemically difficult to map in detail, and hence to understand and support. In this environment, it is crucial to understand faculty members, both as stakeholders, and as potential creators and drivers of innovation, and as the direct, front-line drivers of student success.