Supporting Online Student Success


SUNY places a high degree of value on the importance of professional connections, tools and resources, and technological services utilized to support online students throughout their academic experience from start to finish.   
Whether guiding online learners through the onboarding process at the start of their journey or through the transitioning steps during the final phases of it, our aim is to introduce you to valuable reference material, digital tools, technologies, and student success supports you can implement within your classroom, advising appointments, or conversations when working with students.     

Click on one of the options below to learn more about the resources and supports SUNY provides in these key areas. 

SUNY CPD’s Online Student Supports Certificate Program

This certificate program provides staff, faculty, and campus leadership with strategies and best practices for supporting student success in online environments. Participants will investigate how both campus workflow and perspectives must recognize online students’ unique needs and distinct challenges and opportunities.

Participants will gain skills to foster online student engagement, motivation, and academic success. The goal is to develop participant capacities for reimagining and delivering student services and resources to meet online learners where they are.

SUNY Online Student Success Inventory (SOSSI)
  • The SUNY Online Student Success Inventory, or “SOSSI,” is an online survey used to identify student areas of strengths and concerns relative to online learning. The SOSSI provides a combination of scores and flagged question responses to offer insight into student “readiness”, which allows advisors/mentors to help students prepare themselves before entering a high-stakes situation. The SOSSI is a way for advisors to take stock of student strengths and to analyze how possible gaps and barriers to academic success might be addressed.


    The workflow for the SOSSI begins with an advisor providing a survey link to a student. We recommend this link be provided early in the engagement with a student so the results can inform conversations and plans for student success. 


    The SOSSI measures several domains:

    • Self-Efficacy in Online Environments – personal judgments of one’s ability to organize and execute courses of action to achieve goals.
    • Self-Regulated Learning – self-directed process by which learners transform their mental abilities into academic skills.
    • Reading and Writing – two main methods of communication that are strong predictors of achievement in online courses.
    • Learning Environment – time restraints resulting from academic and non-academic responsibilities.
    • Learning Goals – degree/certificate being pursued and reasons for enrolling in online courses.
    • Tech Access/Literacy – availability of internet and computers, knowledge of software and ability to learn new platform

    The SOSSI is free for all campuses to use. If you are interested in using SOSSI with your students or with a cohort of students please contact us.” 

Communities of Practice
  • SUNY Early Alerts Community of Practice (CoP) – The SUNY Early Alerts CoP formed in 2016. This CoP is for campuses to share and discuss insights, plans, challenges, and collective learning from their use of early alerts tools and other student success management systems to inform holistic approaches to student supports. This CoP hosts virtual monthly meetings and a Viva Engage community.
  • SUNY Online Student Success Collaborative Community of Practice (CoP) – The Online Student Success Collaborative Community of Practice was recently launched with the mission of sharing, developing, and promoting scalable best practices in providing online student support and success initiatives, as well as highlighting the results of these endeavors within the SUNY community.  The Online Student Success Collaborative Community of Practice offers opportunities to connect with SUNY colleagues through monthly virtual meetings and the CoP’s Viva Engage community.
  •  – Search tool for SUNY online courses and degree and certificate programs
  • – Support and resources for current SUNY students, faculty, staff, and partners