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Creating Communities in a Large, Urban, Commuter-Based University Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, Associate Vice President, Academic Learning Initiatives John Amanatides, Master, Bethune College . York University, Toronto Canada. Overview. Introduction to York Introduction to ACMAPS

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York university toronto canada

Creating Communities in a Large, Urban, Commuter-Based University Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, Associate Vice President, Academic Learning Initiatives John Amanatides, Master, Bethune College

York University, Toronto Canada


Overview
Overview University

  • Introduction to York

  • Introduction to ACMAPS

  • ACMAPS Initiatives and Data

  • Introduction to Bethune College

  • Bethune College Initiatives

  • Discussion and Questions


York facts
York Facts University

  • Founded in 1959

  • Third largest in Canada

  • 10 Faculties

  • >50,000 students

  • 1400 FT faculty members

  • 1000 PT faculty/TA


Background acmaps
Background: ACMAPS University

  • The Atkinson Centre for Mature

  • and Part-time Students

  • Established August 2007

  • Pan-university mission and mandate

  • Four Pillars:

    access support

    advocacy research


Background demographics
Background: Demographics University

  • York student population 101s and 105s

    Highly diverse student body

  • How do we define “Mature”?

  • admissions category age, life experience, etc.


Background demographics1
Background: Demographics University

The number of adult learners at York increased in 2009/10


Activities
Activities University

  • Academic Orientation for Mature Students

    • 2 Fall, 1 Winter

  • Mature Student Success Program

    • 23 events 2008/09; 2 streams with 24 sessions in 2009/10

  • Back to the Books Sessions

    • Proactive communications and post-strike workshop in 2008/09


  • Activities1
    Activities University

    • Peer Mentors

    • Parent Support GroupGuest Lecture: “Invisible Students: Succeeding as a Student Parent in Post-Secondary Education”


    Mature student success program
    Mature Student Success Program University

    • Student Life Stream

    • Time and Stress ManagementBasic Computing Skills Exam Preparation and Study Strategies Looking Ahead to Graduate and Professional School What’s Next in my Degree? Drop-in Advising


    Mature student success program1
    Mature Student Success Program University

    • Research and Writing StreamAn Overview of the Writing Process Analyzing the Assignment and Pre-writing Strategies Research Strategies, Reading and Note-taking

    • Come with your Writing Questions


    Assessment
    Assessment University

    • Key measures

      • Institutional data on year one retention

        • Operationally defined in 2008/09 data as still enrolled at end of year one

      • Student satisfaction/ student experience

        • Experimental groups

          Orientation only (E1), Sessions only (E2), Both (E3)

        • Control group

      • Grades


    Retention data
    Retention Data University

    Historically, at York mature students are at higher risk for attritionAfter one year of study, drop-out rate for new entry undergrads 25 years of age and above who started at York in 2006 was 34.4% compared to students aged less than 25 whose drop-out rate was only 14.4%

    Nb. Data not reflective of voluntary stop-outs


    Retention data 2008 09
    Retention Data 2008/09 University

    • Persistence

      • Experimental group members remained in courses at a much higher rate than control group members (84.9%, 90.9% and 96.7% vs. 73.5%)

      • Students who attended both Orientation and ongoing Sessions remained in courses at the highest rate (96.67%)


    Student survey 2008 09
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    • On-line student experience survey

      • Control group

      • Experimental group (E1, E2, and E3 combined)

  • Survey details

    • 8 questions common to both groups

    • Experimental group answered additional program-specific questions

    • Notable differences in response rates


  • Student survey 2008 091
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    • Years away from school before resuming in 2008

      • Participants in our programs were, on average, out of school nearly twice as long as students who did not participate


    Student survey 2008 092
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    • Overall, how would you rate your academic experience over the past year at York University?

      Approximately 60% of participants rated their experience as Good or Excellent compared with only 44% of students in the control group


    Student survey 2008 093
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    Participation in Sessions


    Student survey 2008 094
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    • Satisfaction with the relevance of our sessions was very high


    Student survey 2008 095
    Student Survey 2008/09 University

    • Participants report that what they encountered in the sessions supported their academic success


    Grades data 2008 09
    Grades Data 2008/09 University

    Mean GPA (reported on basis of final grades using a 9 point scale) was higher for students in the experimental group (B vs C+), with those participating in both Orientation and sessions achieving the highest GPA


    Bethune college
    Bethune College University

    • 6,500 Science and Engineering students

    • home for co-curricular/extra-curricular activities

    • clubs, lounges, study hall

    • intramural sports

    • student government

    • residence (270 students)


    Science curriculum
    Science Curriculum University

    • hierarchical

    • common courses in early years

    • sensitive to 1st-year mastery

    • sensitive to math mastery


    Our typical student
    Our Typical Student University

    • 1st in family to attend postsecondary

    • average marks

    • commuter

    • less affluent

    • part-time work

      • 60 % work

      • 15 hr/week average


    Typical problems
    Typical Problems University

    • “freedom at last”

    • different from high school

      • no one checks attendance, homework

      • lecturers don’t review

      • firm deadlines

    • don’t have university-level study skills

    • “record” mode

    • big, impersonal university

    • isolated


    Transition strategy make connections with other students
    Transition Strategy: University Make Connections with Other Students

    • orientation (cohorts)

    • encourage study groups

    • student lounge space

    • science-oriented clubs

    • intramural sports

    • try to break PCP


    Transition strategy get into study patterns early
    Transition Strategy: University Get into Study Patterns Early

    • orientation (study secrets)

    • encourage study groups

    • student study space

    • Life Sciences Help Centre

    • First-year Math Background Tutorials

    • Learning Skills workshops


    Life sciences help centre
    Life Sciences Help Centre University

    • peer tutoring in 1st-year Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics

    • in Study Hall

    • every afternoon, 2:30-6:30 pm


    Math background tutorials
    Math Background Tutorials University

    • pilot project since 2005

    • as of 2010, all incoming science students take pre-calculus quiz (algebra, trig)

    • weak students encouraged to take free 4-day Math background tutorials in late August

    • offered again in Fall Co-curricular Week

    • 5-10% improvement in math grades


    Commuters don t waste their time
    Commuters: University Don’t Waste their Time

    • fit their schedule

    • core 1st-year courses finish MWF2:30

    • plan for events right after this

    • free cookies/coffee, pizza/pop


    Make a big university feel small
    Make a Big University feel Small University

    • geography important

    • critical mass of services in one location

    • Wednesday Workshops, 2:30 pm

      • Career Centre

      • Learning Skills

      • SOS: Professional Schools

    • Writing Centre

    • Career Centre

    • Science Librarians


    Life sciences house
    Life Sciences House University

    • New in 2010

    • Living-Learning community (40 students)

    • Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Kinesiology

    • same core courses (Biol, Chem, Math)

    • enrolled in same labs

    • Supplemental Instruction

    • field trips


    Conclusion
    Conclusion University

    • THANK YOU!

    • Discussion and QuestionsNorma Sue Fisher-Stitt [email protected] Amanatides [email protected]

    • Bethune College www.yorku.ca/bethune/


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