Success Planning at Victoria University – A co-designed program that sets students up for success

Mr Leon Kerr1, Ms Naomi  Dempsey1

1Victoria University, Footscray, Australia


With the introduction of Victoria University’s revolutionary First Year Model in 2018, it was identified that we needed to change the way we interact with students and make our Student Advising program more easily accessible to support and improve student persistence and retention.
Working collaboratively with students and staff from across the University, we combined questions from the 2017 Success Plan with those of the Readiness and Expectations Survey that was previously sent to all commencing students. We then created a series of 12 questions that form the newly created digital Success Plan. Responses to the questions create a personalised Success Plan for the student, providing them with valuable resources and information to aid their transition in to tertiary study and set them up for success.
Student Advisors are notified via our Case Management system of completed Success Plans and alerted of students possibly at risk or in need of further support, prompting proactive contact from Advisor to Student.
The program’s success is indicative of the increase in completed Success Plans from 9% of our commencing cohort in our inaugural program last year to 47% in Semester 1 2018.
The program is committed to working in partnership with our students on the continuous development of our advising service with aims to expand the program to further years and our TAFE students in 2019. The program is continually enhanced and improved through student feedback, focus groups and representation at our Student Advising Reference Group.


Leon Kerr is the Associate Director Student Advisory and Customer Service at Victoria University. Leon has led and embedded a Student Advising program at VU. The program focuses on student success and is governed and co-designed with the wider VU community, enabling the development of a program that is relevant to the changing needs of our students and organisational aims.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education. We are focused on: The quality of the student experience Supporting and empowering students to achieve their educational and life goals Enhancing student wellbeing and development Improving student success and persistence Providing outreach to students at-risk Raising institutional student retention rates For more information, please visit the ANZSSA website at

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Photo Credits: Visit Victoria