Goal 6 Report 2008

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:08 -- sewm02

Goal 6 Report 2008

Goal 6 - Provide a comprehensive, integrated approach to the First Year Experience that encourages student success.
Image:GreenDot.gif = Progress at or above target

Image:YellowDot.gif = Progress below target

Image:RedDot.gif = Progress well below target

Image:WhiteDot.gif = Target not set

Implementation Committee Audit Committee
Report Author Name Pamela Stephens Donna Nuzum
Link to Narrative Report Narrative Report

First-year philosophy
FYE milestones revised
Advising Survey
Learning communities survey
Retention and Graduation Rates
Post-Conference Implementation Response

Goal 6 Narrative Audit Report
Existing Timeline Proposed Year 3 Timeline Discussion of Proposed Year 3 Timeline
Summary Progress on Goal:

Year 2 - Overall

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Year 2 - Overall

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Year 2 - Overall

Action Step 1:

Communicate academic and co-curricular expectations in every contact with first-year students

Progress: Year 2 - Overall Image:YellowDot.gif Image:GreenDot.gif Image:YellowDot.gif Image:GreenDot.gif
Summary of why level was chosen Continued to disseminate a set of expectations to students in various venues and in multiple ways. Developed and adopted a first-year philosophy and accompanying set of FYE milestones. However, no formal surveys have been conducted as the newly created philosophy and milestones have not yet been distributed to a large group of students, and those who have been provided with copies have not had them for a sufficient amount of time. Through the use of the student expectations and in follow-up meetings with students, stress to students that they are expected to make the decisions that impact their academic career. Through Freshman Seminar students take a more comprehensive look at how they fit into the campus environment and their role in making their experience one of engagement and active participation. But, Freshman Seminar is not required for every student, and not all first-year students are affected. Changes in pre-registration procedures, beginning March 2008, should further affirm the students’ responsibility to engage in the decision-making processes of the educational environment and can help students become more self-reliant and more responsible for their own education. Strides have been made to reach the goal of communicating academic expectations in every contact with the first year student. A written philosophy is in place and first year student expectations have been developed, steps essential in emphasizing to students their need for accepting responsibility for their learning. However, there is lack of progress in surveying the effectiveness of Action Step 1.
Recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties encountered Having a recommended rather than mandatory new student orientation makes implementing and evaluating Action Step 1 more difficult as some students may slip through the cracks and not receive the messages we are attempting to communicate. Also, with the new pin process, it is possible that some advisors will view advising as not mandatory as well and will only provide students with their pin codes but not take the time to communicate with them in a meaningful manner. Tools to measure the effectiveness of the communication of expectations to freshmen need to be developed and administered with the results analyzed and reported.
Action Step 2:

Improve the availability of student services.

Progress: Year 2 - Overall Image:GreenDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif Image:GreenDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif
Summary of why level was chosen The institution is currently participating in the 2008 administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, or CCSSE. An online version of New Student Orientation is currently under development using Blackboard modules and should be complete in mid- to late-April. Smarthinking, an online, user-friendly tutorial site provides free online tutoring to our students. Newly created Advisor Reports in Banner allow departmental administrators and advisors to access a variety of reports to monitor the progress of their advisees. The first Pathevo module is available, and the institution has obtained 600 individual licenses to be distributed to students. An improved, online admissions application downloads applications into the Banner system, and the Residence Life Office soon plans to debut their online application. IT has been working on creating pop-ups that will allow students, faculty, and staff to view what outstanding business students need to complete to ensure they are meeting their milestones to enrollment. Schools and departments across campus each provide services to accommodate students’ abilities, backgrounds, interests, and experiences and to help them develop academically, socially, and personally. An academic advising survey was conducted during Fall semester 2007, but follow-up surveys are recommended. The purchase and implementation of AdvisorTrac is on hold while IT works on other top priority projects. The report indicates that a number of valuable services are available to students. However, there is no data to verify the effectiveness of these services. Additionally budgetary constraints have negated the implementation of the AdvisorTrac software.
Recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties encountered Purchase and implementation of AdvisorTrac or a similar product needs to be pursued. With the new pin process being implemented some advisors will need to keep more detailed notes of advising sessions, and having them in an electronic format will benefit advisors working with students who have previously been advised elsewhere. Also, the need to maintain accurate records and to run reliable reports is critical. The institution-wide advising survey results are mixed but show a reliance on prescriptive advising. Follow-up advising surveys are recommended at the departmental level. Measurements must be made of the effectiveness of the student services and the result disseminated. Additionally, if budgetary constraints cannot be overcome, the implementation of the AdvisorTrac software should be eliminated as a goal.
Action Step 3:

Align efforts of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs in support of first-year students.

Progress: Year 2 - Overall Image:GreenDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif Image:GreenDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif
Summary of why level was chosen The First-Year Team was intentionally devised to include members from faculty and staff who work with first-year students. As an institution, we are at the point where we can begin to look at the first year and at first-year students as a unit with distinctive needs and issues that affect their college experience and ultimately their success. The online calendar has been upgraded to provide greater access to more of the campus community, has been separated into categories allowing for more detailed access, provides an event description, and exports to Outlook. The FSU Wiki provides anyone with a UCA username and password the opportunity to create Wiki pages and to edit online content. The Brown Bag Lunch series and book clubs, offered through the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), bring together individuals from across the institution, and provide forums for discussion of topics that many times can be related to working with first-year students. The Brown Bag Lunch series also provides the opportunity for conference presenters and attendees to share conference information with others at the institution. The President’s Weekly Report and Pierpont Community & Technical College Newsletter provide information to keep faculty and staff up-to-date. Student contact information is being updated in Banner, and students are being encouraged to opt into the cell phone emergency text messaging service. Tests of the emergency broadcast function of our campus and off-campus IP Telephones have been conducted. The CTE provides in-depth orientation to new faculty and familiarizes them with campus services and resources. Internal Professional Development provides additional training opportunities for staff and provides online links to articles of interest that provide tips for helping personnel work more efficiently and to provide effective service. Our institutions also have online access to the Innovative Stream (iStream), an online resource bank and learning community, which can be used as a professional development tool. The report indicates that positive strides are being made toward aligning the efforts of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. However, there is no data available to verify this. Also, the goal of involving all areas in decisions about the first year has not been met due to time constraints.
Recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties encountered Overall, we have not yet begun to make intentional decisions about the first year at an institutional level with the distinctive needs and issues of first-year students in mind, but we are at the point where we can begin to do so in the near future. Two sub-steps can most likely be deleted from Action Step 3:

1. Complete all items from Action Step 3 relating to coordination of efforts among services—does not need to be explicitly stated since we do this by completing the steps.

5. Establish a forum to exchange conference information—a forum to exchange conference information is already being done in Goal 1 and this is not really a first-year student issue.

Measurements must be made of the effectiveness of aligning Affairs and Academic Affairs. Also, if goals cannot be met, restructuring of the goals should be considered.
Action Step 4:

Create a campus environment that fosters student development during the first year.

Progress: Year 2 - Overall Image:YellowDot.gifImage:YellowDot.gif Image:YellowDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif
Summary of why level was chosen The Strong Interest Inventory was administered to students enrolled in Freshman Seminar during Fall semester 2007; however, no tests remain for students enrolled during Spring semester 2008 and funding is depleted to order more. A rough draft of a diversity statement was created for inclusion in course syllabi; however, at the moment, this statement has not yet been distributed for comment. The set of student expectations and the Desired Profile of a Fairmont State graduate each address the necessity for students to understand the responsibilities of citizens, participate in a democratic process, and contribute to their society, and the Freshman Seminar course also covers many of these topics. Learning communities provide students with the opportunity to participate in co-curricular and inter-disciplinary learning, to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for their own learning, and the courses expand and promote connections between and among students, teachers, and their community thereby helping students to develop a sense of community and to understand their place in it. The availability of opportunities for student engagement in co-curricular and inter-disciplinary learning have been identified. However, stumbling blocks in accordance with budgetary constraints have been encountered that prevent the continued success of this goal.
Recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties encountered A majority of faculty and staff are unfamiliar with student development theories. To create an environment that fosters student development we will need to introduce the campus community to student development theories and the many affective issues being faced by students, which significantly impact their success and retention. Additional funding is needed to implement either the Strong Interest Inventory or a similar instrument. It is recommend that Freshmen Seminar classes continue to be mandatory, and, if budgetary constraints cannot be overcome, the goals should be amended.
Action Step 5:

Implement these action steps via a first-year team.

Progress: Year 2 - Overall Image:GreenDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif Image:YellowDot.gifImage:GreenDot.gif
Summary of why level was chosen The Office of Institutional Research compiles and disseminates historical data on enrollments, degrees conferred, and retention and graduation rates on an ongoing basis; data can be accessed on the Institutional Research web page. A First-Year Team was convened and monthly meetings were held. Three team members attended the national FYE conference in San Francisco, CA, February 15-19, and presented findings from the conference at a Brown Bag Lunch on March 4, 2008. A first-year team has been established and is meeting on a regular basis. Decimation of information on conferences has been initiated but there is concern about the number of people receiving the information. Additionally, complete data on retention is unavailable and no report on the required yearly evaluation is presented.
Recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties encountered No recommendations, concerns, and/or difficulties at this point. More accurate records on retention should be reported yearly as well as continued evaluation of the goal.
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