kinetic research

Explore our resource hub for insights into the student experience, where we address things like trust, mental health, and student empowerment.

“Sometimes it feels like institutions are not set up for people like me. I feel like I don’t belong here, and often, people invalidate that by just saying, ‘oh, you do belong here.’ Well, it certainly hasn’t felt that way.” 

Iyanna, Black Female, First-Generation, 3rd Year Student



mental health and the student experience

This research aims to understand how a nurturing campus culture without mental health stigmas could enhance the student experience. By defining what being “mentally healthy” means to students,  we offer valuable insights for higher education to respond and develop strategies for better mental health support.

trust and the student experience

This research investigates the complex relationship between student trust and the institutions that serve them, revealing a poignant reality: Students actively contributing to social justice initiatives are not receiving proper recognition or compensation for their substantial efforts. This systemic oversight results in unacknowledged “free emotional labor,” which often leads to burnout, especially among students from marginalized communities who bear the additional weight of this labor.

Chemistry of Student Success

To uncover the humanizing facets of student success, we turned to the most knowledgeable experts: Students themselves. Drawing on a mix of qualitative and quantitative research, we engaged with over 750 students from across the nation over two years, posing two critical questions: “What does thriving mean within the college experience, and how do you recognize when you’re thriving?”

What follows are nine critical elements that encapsulate a thriving student experience.


ways to uplift and empower student voice

Empowering students requires genuine collaboration.  Yet all too often, post-secondary administrators, faculty, and staff members work within a decision-making process that does not include those who will be most influenced by those decisions – students themselves.

In this research funded by Tides Foundation, we offer a framework – designed by and with students nationwide. It centers on both self-advocacy and institutional backing, recognizing the varied challenges students encounter on their way to a college degree. More than just shared decision-making, it’s about understanding and appreciating the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students and then taking action to create an environment where each and every one can thrive.

ways to reshape student power dynamics

Who has better insight into what students need and seek from from their college to thrive than students themselves? This evidence-based framework offers a new way to amplify and center today’s students within institutional transformation approaches. Designed with sponsoring organization Tides, members of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Intermediaries for Scale, and 63 students from across the country, the Shift Power. Share Power.
Framework will help you respond to the realities of learners’ lived experiences in a holistic and equity-centered manner.