March 2018 Update
The Chancellor’s Commission on Completion (CCC) has been developing steps to help achieve A-State’s retention and completion goals:
- By fall 2020, retaining 85 percent of the fall 2019 freshman class (the Class of 2023)
- By May 2023, graduation of 45 percent of the Class of 2023
- By May 2025, graduation of 65 percent of the Class of 2023
CCC spent the greater part of the fall semester exploring data-driven best practices on a national-level as well as within A-State to help guide CCC toward proven retention strategies. Two of the major campus retention trends that emerged were increased academic advising and financial assistance. These two key strategies, when employed well, have resulted in big changes in institutions' completion rates.
One of the overarching themes from the fall faculty listening session was that faculty are an intricate part of the retention puzzle and want to be involved. CCC will continue to host faculty and student listening sessions every semester. More importantly, there is a faculty subgroup that will be formed as an extension of the CCC and will be charged to explore critical issues in classroom pedagogy that prevent or promote long-term successes of A-State students.
One of the key takeaways from the student listening forum was a need for students to have an opportunity to recoup institutional scholarships. Terry Finney, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, revised the A-State institutional scholarship renewal policies. Students now have the entire summer term to improve their academic progress and potentially keep their scholarship. In addition, students who lose a scholarship now have one year to improve their academic progress and potentially earn back an institution scholarship. Along with these efforts, CCC is exploring non-merit based awards to help students who need assistance in order to complete. Dr. Phillip Tew, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of Economic Education and Financial Literacy will lead A-State's opportunities for expanding financial literacy and coaching for A-State students.
Academic advising came up repeatedly as an area in need of additional support. Currently, CCC is examining the expansion of professional advisors within the colleges. Related to advising, A-State professional advisors have increased their efforts to outreach to currently enrolled students to encourage timely advisement and registration.
Other initiatives of CCC subgroups:
- Redesigning program for conditionally admitted A-State students.
- Increased outreach reach and retention initiatives for adult learners
- Established a transfer student team to reduce barriers frequently encountered by prospective students. The team will include representatives from recruitment, admissions, transcript evaluation, financial aid, and academic advising.
Registration Ramp Up
- Reviewed and removed unnecessary registration holds
- Created a Call Management System to help professional advisors manage and track registration progress
- Developed a PR campaign to help promote timely registration
- Hosted call-a-thon evenings to target non-registered students.
Focus on early process and academic engagement
- Developing a data tracking system for admissions.
- Examining early correspondence and processing of prospective students from time of recruitment to admission.
- Refocused New Student Orientation to offer more one-on-one academic and financial aid counseling.
- Including academic units earlier in the recruitment process
- Redesigning FYE to focus on mentoring and retention
- Revised institutional scholarship renewal policies
- Crafting needs-based emergency and completion grants
Intensive Retention Practices
- Developed the PackSupport@astate.edu (one-stop email) to allow students to reach out to campus for support. Web page coming soon.
- Identified a Student Outreach Coordinator to serve as a triage manager for Starfish, PackSupport, and other campus resources to centralize referral services.
- Developing cross-campus PackSupport team to examine situations for students who are at risk of leaving.
- Started outreach efforts for students with excessive credits hours (over 120+ hours and no Intent to Graduate on file)
- Exploring expansion of professional advisors within the colleges.
- Providing additional support for high challenge courses (High DFW rates)
- Adopted app-based software for online student engagement opportunities and management
November 1, 2017
We are reaching out!
This centralized one-stop email is for anyone who is not sure who to turn to for assistance at A-State. Whether a student has an academic issue or is seeking personal assistance, the commission has a team of professional staff reviewing and assigning questions to this new email address to faculty or staff who can help out. Help us spread the message that this service is available. We will make sure your voice is heard.
Call Management System:
With the assistance of ITS, we have designed a Call Management System to help with our outreach to unregistered students. The system allows (1) deans and chairs to have a quick view of Fall-to-Spring enrollment in “real-time” by college and (2) college designees to outreach to unregistered students in an easy and manageable manner. Your CCC rep will provide the names from your college who conduct outreach and/or would like to see registration numbers. You will all receive access. The centralized system will help us coordinate efforts and collect data on who does not return. The system is very easy to use. We will be glad to provide training.
We are listening!
For the Fall 2017, the Commission is focused on hearing from the campus and reviewing national trends in best practices in student success.
We hosted our first of several planned student listening session last week. The summary of the major themes will be shared once it is compiled by the committee.
We are hosting a Faculty Listening session on Wednesday, November 15 from 9:00 – 11:00. Check-in will be in the Arkansas River Room in the Student Union. A light breakfast will be provided followed by a brief welcome by Dr. Damphousse. Faculty will breakout into three separate sessions. One volunteer faculty member from every department is invited. Your reps are assisting in this outreach. We know that the timing is not ideal. Other sessions will be held and other means for faculty involvement are in the works.
Student Experience Survey:
A NSSE-style survey will be sent to students in the next few weeks and the results will be provided to the campus during the early part of 2018.