Category Archives: Student Success

2017 National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) has launched

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is currently being administered to first-year students and seniors.  Students received their first email invitations to participate on February 15 and February 23.  They will receive three more invitations on March 7, March 21, and March 27.  I hope this blog will help you see why NSSE results are important to us and will lead you to encourage first year students and seniors to complete the NSSE.  In previous years, our response rate has around 25%, which is very close to the response rate at our regional and national peer institutions. Continue reading

Student Success – Follow Up

Please send me updates on your student success efforts.  I would like to highlight your efforts in my blog.

Dave Griffie, in the area of Theater, has had success with the strategy he cited at the midyear conference. The strategy is to re-enroll students who need minimal credits to graduate.  He has helped two such students re-enroll; one has finished degree requirements by completing electives online and another has returned for the semester and will in an upcoming theater production.

Dr. Su Dong has fulfilled his new years’ resolution.  To inform students of career options and the expectations of employers, he invited December 2016 MIS graduate, Jason Smith, who is employed as a cybersecurity analyst with Duke Power.  See picture below.

He will also take MIS students to the 5th Annual Technology Day hosted by the City of Fayetteville Information Technology Department on Friday, March 24.

Student Success – Your Comments

Student Success – Your Comments

I am grateful for the many resolutions you made at the midyear conference about how you will contribute to the two big goals:  1) increase the number of students completing degrees, and 2) make sure that our graduates are well-prepared for lifelong success, including success in careers, responsible citizenship, leadership roles, and personal, financial, physical, and social well-being. I am sharing a few of the especially noteworthy comments.

Christy Thomas-James made the following commendable resolution. “Demonstrate Bronco Pride and legacy in all that I do so that students will feel as if they are part of something and someplace great.  When students have a sense of belonging, they make greater achievements.  Thus, graduation is a must.”

Kimberly Tran, from the Psychology Department, resolved to “…follow up personally with seniors mid semester to see how they are doing.”  To support recruitment, Dr. Tran will make presentation for the FTCC Psychology Club.

Chu-Chun Fu, from the Psychology Department resolved to “increase personalized feedback to each student regarding progress in the course, strengths, and suggestions for future improvements.”

Whitney Wall, also from the Psychology Department, resolved to “follow up with a phone call to students who are not attending (undergraduate face-to-face) classes.”

Whitney Wall, Department of Psychology, resolved to “follow up with a phone call to students who are not attending (undergraduate face-to-face) classes.”

A simple and practical suggestion came from Vicki Bannon, Department of English, who resolved to “contact majors every semester to make sure they are registering for the next semester.”  It would be great if other departments would make the same commitment.

Wes Brown resolved to “Answer the phone on the first ring and give superior customer service.”

Many staff members made commitments to improving student services.  Tavoria Freeman, from the Enrollment Services Call Center, resolved to “work on ways to further streamline student services to make sure we are providing the best service to prospective and current students.”

Miriam DeLone resolved to “… help CAS departments implement new strategies for working with Admissions; assist CAS professional advisors improve advising effectiveness with newly admitted and enrolled students; and assist CAS departments develop career pathways and mentoring plans.”

From the Department of Middle Grades, Reeshemah Johnson resolved “to coordinate with public schools to establish a presence in neighboring schools,” and “to use Bronco Connect for early alerts and kudos; follow with students who are at risk of failure.”

Nicole McFarlane in the Department of English resolved to “provide individual conferences with students in which I will ask them how I can help them become lifelong learners.”

Phil Senter, Department of Biological Sciences, made a resolution that will help improve students’ writing skills, “I will allow more than one draft on written assignments so that students who ‘don’t get’ the assignment at first have a chance to learn how to do it before getting a final grade.”   Dr. Senter added one of the most insightful of all comments, “School is about learning new things, not punishing students for not already knowing the new things.”

Ali Siamaki, Department of Chemistry and Physics, resolved to “provide my students with more advice and feedback throughout the semester in their course work.”  He will also “encourage students by providing them with information about their next step in their career and job search after graduation.”

Beth Bir, Department of English, offers a strategy that I would encourage all faculty teaching senior seminars to adopt. She writes, “I’m going to incorporate connections to post-graduation success into the senior seminar by inviting Careers Services to class revising students’ resume.”

Burcu Adivar, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, states, “I will motivate my students by exposing them to real life problems through field trips, guest speakers to help them make better career decisions.”

Murat Adivar, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, “I will prepare students for SAP-TERP 10 certification which will help them find jobs with high salaries and good conditions.”  Certificate programs can add significant value to a students’ education; I encourage all faculty to develop and offer such programs.

Su Dong will try the following strategies: “Invite successful MIS graduates to come back and talk to students and take MIS students on field trip to one of the top IT firms in North Carolina.”

As you can see from this small sampling of comments from midyear conference, our faculty and staff are fully committed to helping our students complete degrees that prepare them for lifelong success.

Thanks and good luck!

Board of Trustees Report – March 2016: Making Sense of Graduation Rates

During the UNC Board of Governors meeting at FSU on March 4, several individuals made reference to retention and graduation rates.  I thought it would be helpful to give our own Board of Trustees a more comprehensive explanation of retention and graduation rates. I have attached the presentation with my notes.  (It is probably more than you care to know.)

As a starting point, consider this analogy.  If you knew nothing whatsoever about golf and you overheard two people describing their most recent game.  One says he shot an 88 and the other says she shot a 79.  Who would you conclude had the better score?  It is a very weak analogy, I know. There are many differences between golf score and retention and graduation rates. But my point is that when retention and graduations rates are discussed apart from any context or with those who know little about how these rates are measured, the audience would probably be as confused about the meaning of these rates as the person overhearing the conversation about golf scores.

See the presentation here: AcademicAffairsUpdateWithNotesFinal

Board of Trustees Report – June 2016 – Student Success Efforts Overview

Academic Affairs Report to Board of Trustees_June2016

The attached presentation for the June 9 meeting of the Board of Trustees is a follow up to my report in March which explained the multiple ways that graduation rates are measured.  This report summarizes what we are doing to improve graduation rates; it describes these efforts in the context of our Institutional Partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  As a Gates institutional partner, we have made a commitment to increase the number of degrees awarded by one-third by 2022.  Of course, as we increase the number of degrees awarded, we must also make sure that our graduates are prepared for success in their professions, as citizens, and in their personal lives.  This presentation is hopelessly incomplete — we are doing so much more than identified in this presentation.  My goal was to give an overview and a framework for understanding and planning. I hope my notes will enhance your understanding of the slides.