Two nationally known authors and education scholars will spend Monday, April 17, on Fairmont State University’s campus as part of the institution’s “What Matters Most” initiative.
Peter Felten and Charles Schroeder, most recently co-authors (along with John Gardner, Leo Lambert and Besty Barefoot) of The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most (2016), will meet with groups of faculty, staff, students and administrators throughout the day.
At 9 a.m., a session will focus on the importance of staff to the undergraduate experience. At 10 a.m., a session will be held for faculty and staff involved in efforts to improve student retention. At 11 a.m., a session geared toward faculty will be held. These sessions are all open to the public and will be held in 217 Turley Student Services Center.
At 3 p.m., a panel discussion preceded by brief presentations by Felten and Schroeder and followed by questions and answers will be held in the Falcon Center conference rooms. A reception and book signing will follow, also open to the public.
“The What Matters Most initiative has engaged a cross-section of campus constituents in a series of meaningful, thoughtful conversations to help prepare the institution for a strategic planning process this fall. The Undergraduate Experience has provided an effective framework for these conversations, by offering a positive tone and providing encouraging examples of success and excellence in higher education in spite of challenging funding and enrollment trends,” said Dr. Tim Oxley, Interim Vice President for Student Services at Fairmont State.
Throughout the spring semester, about 130 faculty, staff and students have participated in more than 20 facilitated discussion groups focused on the six core themes—learning, relationships, expectations, alignment, improvement, and leadership—detailed in The Undergraduate Experience.
“Welcoming these two authors to our campus will be an exciting conclusion to our semester-long focus on the things that matter most to the undergraduate experience,” said Dr. Robynn Shannon, Director of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness at Fairmont State. “Having met them both, I know that they have so much to contribute to our goal of being the very best we can be as an institution.”
Felten is the assistant provost for teaching and learning, executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and professor of history at Elon University (US).
Schroeder served as the chief student affairs officer at Mercer University, Saint Louis University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). Following his retirement from MU, he became a senior executive at Noel-Levitz, a national higher education consulting firm. He currently serves as a consultant for Ruffalo-Noellevitz specializing in retention and student success strategies and interventions.
Felten and Schroeder were recently interviewed by About Campus Executive Editor Frank Shushok, Jr. The interview can be accessed at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/abc.21278/full.
Additional information about the What Matters Most initiative at FSU, including discussion group participants’ survey results, can be found on the What Matters Most web page: http://www.fairmontstate.edu/assessment-effectiveness/what-matters-most.