Monday, March 2, 2020 

Workshop Session C: 2:45 - 3:45 pm


Incremental Impact: Using Existing Resources to Improve Student Success

>> Room: White Ibis

Carrie Zelna, Associate Vice Chancellor, NC State University

We all want to know that our work has an impact on student success. Many believe that the way to demonstrate impact is through the measurement of retention and graduation rates for the students that use their services or programs. While we know our work impacts individual success, it is not often that we are able to see the impact in valid measures of retention or graduation. That does not mean that the unit has no impact on those numbers, it is just difficult to demonstrate the relationship. This issue, along with mountains of unused data, resulted in the creation of the Retention Foundation Assessment (RFA) program. The purpose of RFA is to systematically identify, measure, and improve the underlying variables that impact student success. By identifying appropriate constructs and using primarily existing data and student led focus groups, units across the division are able to make incremental alterations to their existing work. The AVC for Academic Success and the Office of Assessment work together with faculty and staff in the division to determine the constructs, define them, identify appropriate data, and share it in small unit-level sessions that include a problem solving component with unit staff. This session will describe how we accomplish our goals with no new resources and will engage the audience as they brainstorm ways to meet similar goals on their campus.

Sustaining Student Success with Positive Perceptions of Change

>> Room: Sandhill Crane

Monica Brockmeyer, Senior Associate Provost for Student Success, Wayne State University
Patricia Sobecky, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs,The University of Alabama
Moderator: Paul Dosal, Vice President for Student Success, University of South Florida

While the goal of student success initiatives is to ensure higher student retention and degree completion rates, sustaining the efforts and momentum as institutional metrics begin to change also requires a longer-term institutional strategy. Without longer-term intentional planning, most efforts will fade as collective institutional behavior returns to its initial state. This session will present two institutional approaches as examples of (their) efforts to serve as champion of change agents to promote a culture of positive change at their institutions. Presenters will highlight approaches and strategies such as how identifying and empowering individuals and teams who possess attributes reflecting a positive perception of change contribute to bringing about sustainable institutional changes in support of student success.

Increasing Student Completion: Examining Causal Effects of Re-enrollment Strategies

>> Room: Snowy Egret

Paul PerraultVice President of Research and Evaluation, Helios
Justin OrtagusAssistant Professor of Higher Education Administration & Policy, University of Florida

With support from the Helios Education Foundation, the University of Florida’s Institute of Higher Education conducted a multi-phase re-enrollment campaign designed to foster re-enrollment among previously successful former students from five high-enrollment community colleges. The resulting study, which employs a randomized controlled trial and includes over 27,000 former students, offers insights related to the efficacy of two types of re-enrollment campaigns. First, we consider an “information-only” text messaging campaign that includes a series of text messages and custom website intended to streamline the re-enrollment process. Second, we consider an “information + one-course waiver” campaign that includes the same information and custom website in addition to a one-course tuition waiver. For community colleges seeking to foster re-enrollment through a variety of campaigns, we offer clear evidence that low-cost nudges including pertinent information and a one-course tuition waiver have a positive impact on the probability of former students returning to college.

Turning the Utah Pledge into Action: A Holistic Approach to Improving Retention

>> Room: Cormorant

Amy Bergerson, Associate Dean - Office of Undergraduate Studies and Director - Office of Student Success and Empowerment, University of Utah
Rachel Hayes-Harb, Director - Office of Undergraduate Research and Capstone Programs, University of Utah
Marissa Diener, Director - LEAP Learning Communities, University of Utah
Beth Howard, Director - Academic Advising Center, University of Utah

In 2011, the University of Utah was called upon to focus on student success in ways it had not before. Since then, we have produced significant improvements in retention and completion rates, moving from 86% to 90% retention and from 55% to 70% 6-year graduation rate. These advancements have been produced by campus-wide attention to student success. We bundle our best practices for retention and completion in what we call the Utah Pledge, which begins with the powerful experience of a first-year learning community, builds on support from advisors, Student Success Advocates and peer mentors, is guided by a plan to finish developed in first- and second-year milestone advising, and includes deeply engaged learning (High Impact Practices, or HIPS) that transform students’ understandings about themselves and their position in the world. We work to graduate students who have an impact. The Utah Pledge, which states, “We pledge to help you graduate with the support of learning communities, mentors and advisors, a plan to finish, and deeply engaged learning experiences,” represents our strategic approach to retention and completion, an approach based on best practices, which has, importantly, delivered results. In this panel we will share the specific strategies utilized by four programs that exemplify our university’s campus-wide coordinated efforts.

Graduation Help Desks: A System-wide Approach to Success

>> Room: Herring Gull

Cassandre Alvarado, Executive Director - Student Success, The University of Texas at Austin
Kathy Uitvlugt, Director - Graduation Help Desk, The University of Texas at Austin
Soyla Santos, Associate Director - Graduation Help Desk, The University of Texas at Austin

Graduation Help Desks enhance student success by providing advocacy and problem-solving to complex administrative barriers that delay timely graduation. This presentation will share highlights of an advocacy-based model for promoting student success that has been implemented throughout the University of Texas System.

FEATURED SPEAKER:  Digital Dissonance - Learning to Embrace Change and Enhance the Student Experience

>> Room: Pelican

Eric Stoller, Vice President of Digital Strategy, GeckoEngage

It's time to challenge conventional thinking on the future of higher education in terms of digital transformation and organizational change. At institutions that 'get' digital, there's a holistic approach to digital engagement that spans the entire organization. For institutions without intentional and authentic digital leadership, the student experience is scattered and lacks direction. This runs counter to the expectations of students and 'digital champions.' In this featured presentation, Eric Stoller will share best practice examples of digital engagement and provide an organizational push for ongoing digital transformation as it relates to teaching, learning, and student success.

Emergency Aid: A Critical Component of a Holistic Student Success Model

>> Room: Wilson's Plover

Francisco Valines, Director - Financial Aid, Florida International University

The concept of Emergency Aid (EA) is simple – leverage existing funds or identify new funds to provide students with assistance to help them through an emergency. The rationale behind EA is that if we can help students overcome these emergencies, they will be able to continue their path to graduation. However, operationalizing an EA program takes coordination and commitment. FIU has implemented a successful EA program built on this collaborative spirit. The purpose of this panel is to review the process that FIU went through to establish this program, including: how to identify existing funds on campus, recruit Emergency Aid champions across various units, develop/amend policies and procedures, and implement a comprehensive strategy. The FIU team will share implementation successes and challenges; best practices developed as part of our participation in a national Emergency Aid Lab project; and a discussion of how to measure results.