About The Network


To catalyze a collective of diverse individuals, institutions of higher education, and entities working together in pursuit of the best overall health for college students through innovation and quality improvement


All college students reach their fullest potential by ensuring they have the best health possible

Guiding Principles

  • All are welcome and needed
  • We are all teachers, all learners, and all leaders
  • We are continuously curious and always questioning
  • We are pursuing radical transformation
  • We are accepting of responsibly failing forward as individuals and systems
  • We are widely sharing and spreading our discoveries
  • We are moving the needle on what’s possible

The Opportunity

Institutions of higher education are at the center of life, learning, work, and play for more than 25 million Americans, including almost 21 million students and 4 million faculty and staff; this positions colleges and universities to recognize and respond to factors influencing health, wellbeing, and equity in ways that ultimately can change the trajectory of health for a large segment of the population.  Many of the core values of institutions of higher education – pursuit of learning and new knowledge, empowerment of learners, achieving equity in an increasingly diverse society, civic engagement, cross-sector collaboration, service, building community, and fostering wellbeing – are aligned with national action areas for mobilizing a culture of health and pursuing the triple aim of better care, better health, and lower cost.

The path to a culture of health is anything but straightforward. We can accelerate transformational progress toward addressing the broad range of factors that influence college student health, wellbeing, and equity when we collectively embrace health as a shared value and commit to rapid experimentation using science-based improvement and innovation methods, cross-sector collaboration and co-production, and openly sharing our successes and failing forward moments.

Accelerating Improvement

The Network for Improvement and Innovation in College Health aims to catalyze a collective of diverse individuals, institutions of higher education, and related entities (e.g. professional organizations and societies, foundations, non-profit organizations, vendors, government and public health agencies, and accrediting bodies) working together in pursuit of the best overall health for college students through innovation and quality improvement.

NIICH is a learning network for facilitating:

  • testing of new approaches to achieving better results
  • co-creation of innovations
  • rapid spread of key learnings

NIICH is built on principles of decentralized, distributed, adaptive leadership, management, and coordination.   Peer-to-peer, node-to-node action catalyzes and accelerates improvement.  Nodes are different sizes; include individuals, institutions of higher education, and related entities; represent different constituents; and bring diverse perspectives.  All individuals, institutions, and entities are invited into the network as equals in support of this collective mission.  A strong feedback loop throughout the network allows nodes to prioritize actions that most matter to their respective constituents while allowing all nodes to continually monitor collective progress, identify lessons learned, pursue emerging opportunities for action, and rapidly spread learnings between nodes.

NIICH has achieved measurable improvements across multiple college student health outcomes through its focus on sense-making; maximizing resources by redesigning processes and systems; peer-based learning; emphasis on a whole campus approach to health — breaking down silos and leveraging partners not typically associated with health; and effectiveness in catalyzing change through existing nodes.

NIICH strives to spread and scale successes, as well as to catalyze future initiatives focused on improving the health, wellbeing, and equity of the nearly 21 million college students.